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New ruling released by OSHA on worker safety protection

Some Louisiana workers may be interested in learning about the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration ruling that updates working and walking surfaces along with fall protection systems. While it does not affect current standards for workers in agriculture or construction, it does make changes in protection for those who work in general industry.

Areas that are affected under walking and working surfaces include the recognition of technological advances and best practices. The new OSHA ruling gives more flexibility for employers to choose the kind of fall protection used to provide the best type for the hazard and offers new guidelines for fall protection. This greater flexibility reportedly will reduce accidents and subsequent days that are lost from work when an employee is injured on the job.

One of the new requirements is that training be provided for workers who work in hazardous areas. This includes being trained in fall protection systems. Retraining is mandated as necessary to keep workers abreast of best practices in order to use appropriate safety precautions on the job.

Employers are mandated to protect workers in areas elevated 4 feet or higher that are not equipped with protective railings or other safety features. In addition, specific situations are addressed, such as stairways, platforms used for slaughter and areas located over dangerous equipment. An additional requirement has been added to provide protection for employees working on ladders, platforms and portable stands to help prevent falls.

An employee who has suffered a workplace injury due to lack of proper safety equipment and protection from falls may suffer lost wages, medical bills and other expenses. An attorney experienced in this area of the law may help by examining the evidence and building a personal injury case to recover costs associated with the injury.

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