Keeping Your Workplace Safe: OSHA Announces National Emphasis Program to Reduce Workplace Falls

On May 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor has made an announcement regarding the initiation of a National Emphasis Program (NEP) by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aimed at preventing workplace falls. OSHA identifies falls as the primary cause of injuries and fatalities in the workplace, surpassing violations of OSHA's respiratory protection standard. OSHA states that this NEP offers guidance on identifying and inspecting fall hazards. Inspections may be initiated whenever OSHA representatives observe individuals working at elevated heights.

What can be done to reduce falls?

OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in construction industry, and eight in longshoring operations. Additionally, fall protection must be provided regardless of height when employees are working over hazardous equipment. Fall protection systems include the use of guardrails, safety nets, adherence to safe work practices, and appropriate training.

Employers are required by OSHA to ensure hazard-free working environments, maintain clean and reasonably dry floors in work areas, supply necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees without charge, and to offer training to employees about the job hazards in a language that they can understand.

Knowledge is the key for prevention, training is the key for knowledge. If you are looking for a way to train your employees, Process & Safety Solutions LLC offers 21 computer-based trainings, Fall Protection included, offered in English and Spanish.

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Sources: https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/national/05012023, https://www.osha.gov/fall-protection