From our sister publication, Replacement Contractor:

The new final rule released by OSHA Thursday updates its walking-working surfaces standards and adjusts what fall protection system employers may utilize. The new rule will go into effect Jan 17, 2017 and is expected to affect around 112 million workers.

The final rule was designed to increase consistency between general industry and construction standards and to update requirements to reflect advancement in technology. The rule also adds training and inspection requirements.

Significant changes are included for fall protection systems, including eliminating the mandate for guardrails as a primary fall protection method. More options are now classified as accepted fall protection and employers will be able to use "non-conventional" fall protection when a situation calls for it, such as working on low-slope roofs.

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