Updates to OSHA’s Fall Protection Regulations
As a part of their initiative to continually improve safety protocols to protect laborers, OSHA recently implemented new requirements for fixed ladders on buildings. This change is an improvement on previous safety practices and requirements, but it might mean that your company will have to make adjustments to your existing or impending building accessories in order to remain OSHA-compliant. The professionals here at Design Components are here to lay out the basics of OSHA’s fall protection updates and what they could mean for your existing accessories.
5 Pieces of Information for Understanding OSHA Fall Protection Compliance
1. Requirements for Ladders Exceeding 24 Feet
Ladders that are 24 feet or higher will require landing platforms, sometimes referred to as rest points. These platforms provide safety for users as they climb the ladder. Under the new requirements, fixed ladders without cages must now have a landing platform at maximum intervals of 150 feet. Ladders with cages must now have a landing platform at maximum intervals of 50 feet.
2. Caged Ladder Standards in 2019
As of the latest OSHA update in fall of 2018, cages are not required on ladders that exceed 24 feet. OSHA has found that caged ladders offer little in the way of fall protection, and they, in fact, can increase the risk of injury during the unfortunate instance of a fall. For this reason and more, OSHA no longer requires cages on ladders.
3. 2019 OSHA Fall Protection Accessories for Ladders
In place of the formerly required cage system, OSHA now requires the implementation of a personal fall arrest system, PFAS for short, on all fixed ladders at or over 24 feet. Among the many PFASs that are compliant, the three most common systems are as follows:
- Bolt on cable systems (with a cable grab fall arrester)
- Track systems (with a climbing trolley)
- Top mounted self-retracting lifelines
4. Retrofitting Existing Ladders for New OSHA Fall Protection Requirements
Though recommended, fixed ladders that were installed prior to the new regulations were implemented Nov. 18, 2019, will not have to be retrofitted to comply until Nov. 18, 2036, which is when all ladders 24 feet or higher must be retrofitted with a PFAS or ladder safety system. Additionally, cages are not required to be removed, given that they do not interfere with the new PFAS.
5. Requirements for Ladders Under 24 Feet
According to OSHA, a fixed ladder that is less than 24 feet high does not require a fall arrest system.
Need Help Updating Your Ladders?
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Consider Design Components as your resource for helping you become OSHA-compliant when it comes to metal building accessories. Whether you’re looking for some advice to start this process or you’ve reached a dead-end in your research efforts, the team at Design Components is ready to work alongside you to help your business and answer your fall protection questions. Contact us today at 800-868-9910 to get a free quote to get started. Stay up-to-date by connecting with Design Components on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.