A new Occupational Safety and Health Administration national emphasis program aims to prevent and reduce workplace falls.

According to OSHA, falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Last year was the 12th consecutive year that falls were the agency’s most frequently cited worker safety and health standard, Safety + Health reported

“This national emphasis program aligns all of OSHA’s fall protection resources to combat one of the most preventable and significant causes of workplace fatalities,” Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in a statement.

OSHA requires employers to:

  • Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
  • Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, as much as possible, dry condition.
  • Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
  • Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.

The national emphasis program establishes guidance for locating and inspecting fall hazards and allows OSHA compliance safety and health officers to open inspections whenever they observe someone working at heights. An outreach component of the program will focus on educating employers about effective ways to keep their workers safe. If a compliance officer determines that an inspection is not necessary after entering a worksite and observing work activities, the officer will provide outreach on fall protection and leave the site.

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