To address the problem of workplace injuries and accidents caused by hazardous conditions, enhanced workplace inspections are now required under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new Walking-Working Surfaces Rule.
The old standard of inspection focused primarily on ladders and scaffolds, but the new requirement directs employers to inspect all walking-working surfaces accessed by employees in the performance of their duties.
Under the new rule, walking-working surfaces include all surfaces a worker walks on, works on, or uses to gain access to work. It can include floors, aisles, stairs, roofs, ladders, supply rooms and more.
Inspections must be done “regularly” and “as necessary.” Regular inspections require that an employer has an adequate walking-working inspection schedule, formal or informal, to identify hazards. Necessary inspections should be carried out when a change in conditions warrants additional scrutiny.
Employers are required to promptly correct or repair hazardous conditions. If they cannot be repaired immediately, they must erect a barricade or take other safety measures to alert employees to the hazard. A qualified person must perform or supervise all repairs that present a significant risk to employees.
Under the OSHA law, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Hopefully with the new walking-working inspection rules in place, hazards will be discovered before employees get hurt on the job. If you or a family member has been injured in a workplace accident, contact the workers’ compensation, personal injury lawyers of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help today.