Under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recent General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards final rule, employers are now required to ensure that workers who use personal fall protection and equipment are trained about fall and equipment hazards, including fall protection systems.
New Training Requirements
Under the recent final rule, employers whose employees use personal fall protection equipment and work in other specified high hazard situations must provide employee training as to fall hazards, including fall protection systems. Specifically, employees must be trained by a qualified person and must be trained in at least the following topics:
- The nature of fall hazards in the work area and how to recognize them;
- The procedures to be followed to minimize those hazards;
- The correct procedures for installing, inspecting, operating, maintaining, and disassembling the personal fall protection systems that the employee uses; and
- The correct use of personal fall protection systems including, but not limited to, proper hook-up, anchoring, and tie-off techniques.
In addition, the final rule requires employers to train each employee on equipment hazards. This required training includes training as to the proper care, inspection, storage, and use of certain equipment (including, but not limited to, dockboards and rope descent systems) before an employee uses the equipment.
Both the fall and equipment hazard trainings must be presented to each employee in a manner that the employee understands. In addition, employers must retrain an employee when the employer has reason to believe the employee does not have the understanding and skill required by the initial training.
For additional information on the final rule and its training requirements, please click here.