WASHINGTON: Fall protection rules updated
The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has issued revisions to its unified fall protection rules, which take effect on November 1, 2022. The unified rules, originally published in 2020 (and reported here), merged all industry fall protection standards and aligned them with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. However, OSHA remained concerned that certain aspects of the rules didn’t meet federal standards, specifically trigger heights for roofing employees and those constructing a leading edge, use of warning line systems, use of safety watch systems, and personal fall arrest requirements for those working in ski area facilities and operations. Of these, the roofing and construction changes are most likely to affect Vigilant members who engage in construction or are conducting construction onsite. The new construction trigger heights are:
- Six feet for roofing work on a low pitch roof (formerly ten feet); and
- Six feet when constructing a leading edge (formerly ten feet).
Tips: Even with the construction changes above, it’s important to remember that the general trigger height for fall protection in manufacturing environments is still four feet. For example, if the edge of a walking surface could expose manufacturing workers to a fall of four feet or more to the ground below, you should install guardrails or other appropriate fall protection. For questions about whether you have the correct fall protection at your facility or job site, contact your Vigilant safety professional.
This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.