OSHA Considers Updates to Fall Safety Standards for Shipyards
OSHA is considering updates to its safety standards that address falls in shipbuilding, ship repair, shipbreaking, and other shipyard-related employment. Specifically, the agency is examining the Scaffolds, Ladders and Other Working Surfaces standards under Subpart E of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards in Shipyard Employment. According to the agency’s press release, the current standards, which have not been updated since they were adopted in 1971, do not cover all access and egress hazards and do not address advances in technology such as new scaffold systems. OSHA notes that fall hazards are a leading cause of shipyard fatalities; Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that 40 percent of all workplace fatalities in shipyard employment from 1992 to 2014 were caused by falls to a lower level.
OSHA requests comments and information regarding safe access and egress of vessels, buildings, and other structures in shipyard employment; use of fall and falling object protection; and erection, use, and dismantling of scaffolding systems. The agency seeks information on increasing consistency in the shipyard employment, general industry, and construction standards that address fall and falling object protection, scaffolding, and access and egress. OSHA also requests feedback related to technological advances, industry best practices, and outdated provisions.
The comment deadline is Dec. 7, 2016. For more information, see the Federal Register notice.