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To align with federal standards, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has new fall protection standards going into effect on Nov. 1, 2022. While training and guidance resources remain under development, the department has provided an overview of the background and changes.
Aligning Washington’s Fall Protection Standards with Federal Requirements
L&I updated its standards after receiving a letter from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In its letter, OSHA alerted L&I their previous fall protection standards were not as effective as federal standards. Under federal law, Washington’s standards must meet or exceed the standards set forth by OSHA.
Major Changes to Fall Protection Standards
L&I has provided a quick reference guide with major changes indicated. Among other things, the updated standards:
- Require fall protection when doing roofing work at six feet or higher on a low-pitch roof, instead of the previous 10-foot threshold
- Change the threshold height from 10 feet to six feet when constructing a leading edge
- Add the option of a standard guardrail system as a form of fall protection on low-pitched roofs
- Provide an option to use a safety watch system if appropriate
- Include a clarifying statement noting when rules require fall protection at four feet or more
Updated Safety Training for Fall Protection Standards Expected Soon
ROII Safety Services Director, Bob White, works closely with L&I and will share their updated training materials when they are available. ROII participants already receive Weekly Safety Topic emails to keep your employees safe.
Are you not a ROII program participant? In the 2018-19 plan year, ROII participants earned an average refund of 53% back on their L&I premiums. That’s some serious cash! If you would like to see how much you could have earned if you were enrolled in ROII, visit https://roii.com/.
Remember, safety has its rewards – MBA