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OSHA updates walking and working surfaces rule

South Carolina employees who are working in industrial jobs may be impacted by changes in OSHA's rules for safety protection against slips, trips, and falls. While standards for construction and agriculture will be unchanged, the update should create greater consistency among different work areas. In addition to updating existing standards, OSHA is adding a section that addresses personal fall protection equipment. The updated rule will become effective Jan.17, 2017.

One of the benefits afforded to employers with the update will be more choice in selecting systems for fall protection. Previously, there was a mandate that guardrails be used as the main preventive strategy for heading off falls. However, this might not be the ideal system in every setting. Workers must be protected in any situation involving unprotected edges with a drop of at least 4 feet to the next lower level. Safety provisions are also included related to fall prevention involving ladder systems that are portable. Training for workers using fall protection equipment is also mandated, especially for those who work in situations that have high hazard potential.

A culture of safety on a job can have a major impact on a company's safety record. However, a workplace injury accident can happen in spite of great safety prevention efforts. A piece of equipment could fail, or a medical episode could cause one worker to trigger a chain reaction of injuries through an equipment accident. Workers' compensation insurance is used to ensure that regardless of fault, an individual harmed in a work-related accident will have access to the medical care needed.

An individual who has received workers' compensation benefits would not typically have the right to bring legal action against an employer in connection with a workplace injury. However, faulty equipment might warrant legal action against a third party that manufactured or serviced the equipment. A lawyer might be helpful in evaluating the facts of such a case.

Philpot Law Firm, PA
115 Broadus Ave.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
Fax: 864-242-1566
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