Fall Protection Becomes Mandatory

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New regulation removes “optional” to increase worker safety

BY CRAIG FIRL, Capital Safety

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published updated rules and regulations in April 2014 that impact fall protection for the electrical utility industry. These new regulations, which replace rules dating back to the 1970s, have been in development since 2005 and will replace guidelines that were both out-of-date and inconsistent. OSHA estimates the new rules will prevent an additional 118 workplace injuries and 20 fatalities each year.

Workers who operate or maintain electric power generation equipment, or transmission or distribution lines will be affected by the new regulations. Additionally, these new regulations will affect construction workers who erect new power lines or equipment, as well as those who alternate, convert, or improve existing lines and equipment.

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