Slips, trips and falls cause the majority of general industry workplace accidents and cost employers billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and business. The good news is that many of these injuries can be prevented by following the OSHA walking-working surface regulations and adopting safe work practices.
While falls from elevated locations to lower levels represent the greatest danger, even falls on sidewalks and in hallways can cause serious injuries like bone fractures. Walking while distracted, such as using a handheld electronic device, increases the risk of injury.
While falls are more likely to occur in some environments compared to others, falls can happen anywhere and at any time. Employers and employees alike can make a difference in helping to prevent injuries and fatalities from slips, trips and falls.
OSHA regulates slips, trips & falls under Subpart D, "Walking-Working Surfaces." These requirements apply to all general industry workplaces. It also covers all walking and work surfaces within these workplaces regardless of operations, including floors, aisles, stairs, ladders, platforms, roofs, etc. View compliance deadlines.
Under these regulations, employers are required to identify and evaluate slip, trip and fall hazards and provide appropriate personal protective equipment, conduct regular and periodic inspections and maintenance of all walking and work surfaces in their workplace, and provide training that enables employees to recognize the hazards of falling and the procedures to be followed to minimize these hazards.
This can be a real challenge for employers, but these requirements provide critical steps in reducing or eliminating slip hazards, trip hazards and fall hazards in your workplace.
Want to learn more? Download our Walking-Working Surfaces: OSHA Takes Major Steps to Overhaul Slips, Trips, and Falls Standard Whitepaper for a more detailed overview.Shop Solutions Now
News, Best Practices & Info
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Focus on safety during snow removal and cleanup (1-14-19)
- Washington State plans unified fall protection rule for all industries statewide (8-13-18)
- OSHA allows inspectors some leeway in enforcing rope descent system anchorage requirements (11-30-17)
- OSHA releases first standard interpretation on the WWS Rule (10-30-17)
- Walking-Working Surfaces: OSHA Takes Major Steps to Overhaul Slips, Trips, and Falls Standard
- Portable Ladder Safety: Don't Fall for Common Missteps
- Inspections: Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls and Other Workplace Hazards
- Fall Protection: Understanding the New General Industry Options
- Walking-Working Surfaces Training: Take the Next Step to Prevent Slips, Trips & Falls
- How Transporters Are Affected by Walking-Working Surfaces
- Walkway Safety
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When must employers comply?
The majority of the new requirements under Subpart D were effective January 17, 2017; however, a few of the deadlines are different. See below for important compliance dates.
November 18, 2036
Subpart D §1910.28(b)(9)(i)(D)
Deadline by which all fixed ladders must be equipped with a ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system.
January 17, 2017
Deadline by which all requirements not addressed in the extended compliance dates must be met, including (but not limited to):
- Hazard assessment
- Fall protection
May 17, 2017
Subpart D §1910.30(a) and (b)
Deadline by which employers must train employees on fall and equipment hazards.Shop Training Solutions
November 20, 2017
Subpart D §1910.27(b)(1)
Deadline by which employers using rope descent systems must obtain written information from the building owner that anchorage systems meet the regulatory requirements.
November 19, 2018
Subpart D §1910.28(b)(9)(i)(A)
Date after which employers must ensure existing fixed ladders (more than 24 feet above a lower level) are equipped with a cage, well, ladder safety system, or personal fall arrest system.
November 19, 2018
Subpart D §1910.28(b)(9)(i)(B)
Deadline by which employers must ensure new fixed ladders (more than 24 feet above a lower level) are equipped with a ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system.
Walking-Working Surfaces Solutions
Understand the Requirements
Inspection Checklists for General Industry Manual
Catch potential OSHA violations before the government does with the Inspection Checklists for General Industry Manual. You’ll get the print and online edition, plus 1-year update service.
OSHA General Industry Manuals
Both OSHA General Industry Manuals offer explanations of OSHA workplace safety regulations, including a new section on the Walking-Working Surfaces Rule. You’ll get the print and online editions, plus 1-year update service.
OSHA Compliance Industry-Specific Manuals
Each industry-specific manual has been developed for different industries (transportation, retail, healthcare & warehousing) to aid in OSHA compliance. You’ll get the print and online editions, plus 1-year update service.
Workplace Safety Manuals
Get the information you need to correct potential OSHA violations and maintain a safe and compliant workplace with these workplace safety manuals. You’ll get the print and online editions, plus 1-year update service.
Get how-to-comply guidance for walking and work surfaces with the KellerOnline® safety management tool. Use this comprehensive resource to plan and execute the Rule, including inspections, checklists, safety plans, and training. Plus, get info covering over 900 additional topics.
Comply with the Requirements
Walkway Safety Training
Learn about walkway safety and how to recognize and prevent falls from the same level with the Walkway Safety training program.
Slips, Trips & Falls Training for General Industry
Learn about the Walking-Working Surfaces rule & how to comply, including OSHA ladder & fall protection requirements with many training programs in multiple formats.
Strengthen Your Compliance Program
Walking-Working Surfaces Consulting Services
Let our experts customize and deliver on-site regulatory guidance and safety improvements through Walking-Working Surfaces Compliance Assessment and Walking-Working Surfaces Training Services. Ensure compliance with hazard assessments and training specific to your organization.
Slips, Trips & Falls Charts/Posters
Help employees identify slip, trip & fall hazards and prevent and respond to workplace injuries with awareness posters and charts.
Slips, Trips and Falls Signs, Labels & Tags
Communicate safety messages with signs, labels & tags indicating slip hazards, trip hazards and fall hazards. Plus, choose from thousands of other safety signs, or create your own custom sign.
Testimonials — What Other Customers Are Saying
"Thanks to consultant Steve Canney's guidance, First Supply successfully navigated OSHA's Walking-Working Surfaces hazard assessment. Canney knew the regulations backwards and forwards. This mastery, coupled with his friendliness, made him a pleasure to work with. I would confidently recommend J. J. Keller's Consulting Service to any business looking for a hands-on, expert-level evaluation of its safety programs."
"An excellent overview of what is expected … using this [Walking-Working Surfaces] DVD with the employee handbook is an excellent teaching tool."
Did you know?
The NEW Walking-Working Surfaces Rule affects more than 100 million workers and approximately 6.7 million workplaces, including:
- Oil & gas extraction