Workplace safety is always an important issue, with serious, often life-threatening injuries being a regular occurrence in this country’s factories, construction sites and other workplaces. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has played a significant role in making America’s workplaces safer for many years.
OSHA’s fight continues as they recently updated some important rules regarding slip and falls and falls from heights in the workplace. As a federal agency, their rulings impact employers and employees in Pennsylvania and throughout the world.
The New Rule From OSHA
The US Department of Labor (DOL) issues a news release earlier in November to report that OSHA issued a final rule that updated two important aspects of work safety regulations:
- Walking-Working Surfaces standards: In order to minimize slip, trip and fall accidents, the new rule increases workspace protection from hazards that lead to this type of accident. With technological improvements and greater flexibility, the hope is to drastically reduce the numbers of slip and fall accidents in the workplace.
- Protective Equipment standards: For falls from heights, the new rule implements a significant increase in flexibility for employers to determine the safety systems that work best for them. Employers can now choose from a range of options to protect workers from height falls, with the inclusion of personal fall protection systems.
According to the DOL’s article, “OSHA estimates the final standard will prevent 29 fatalities and more than 5,842 injuries annually. The rule becomes effective on Jan. 17, 2017, and will affect approximately 112 million workers at seven million worksites.”
How Does This Impact You, The Worker?
Although this new rule will likely help reduce the numbers of serious injuries in the workplace, accidents will still occur, and the rule does not insure that workers’ compensation will come through for you personally if you are hurt on the job. Only an experienced attorney can do that.
Even with this new rule in place, you still need to be careful at work, and if you are injured on the job, talk with an experienced attorney who will fight for your right to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.