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OSHA proposes changes to Walking-Working Surfaces standard

Comments accepted until July 19, 2021

Posted May 21, 2021

OSHA is proposing changes to the Walking-Working Surfaces (WWS) standard to clarify which handrail and stair rail system requirements apply to new stair rail systems. The agency says it has received many questions and requests for interpretation of the requirements for handrail and stair rail systems since the WWS standard was issued in November 2016, and that the proposed changes are intended to help clarify the requirements.

The proposed changes affect two provisions of the WWS standard. The first, amending 1910.28(b), clarifies that a stair rail system with a handrail is required on the open side of certain stairways. The second, amending 1910.29(f), eases a restriction on previously-installed stair rail systems by allowing the top rail of those systems to serve as a handrail when it is as low as 30 inches.

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until July 19, 2021.

This article was written by Rachel Krubsack of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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