Slips and Falls: What you need to know


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards (also known as slips, trips, and falls) for general industry workplaces regulate most areas where employees may work or travel in the workplace. Walking-working surfaces include ladders, wall and floor openings, ramps, stairways, and scaffolds. Much of the standard is geared to design, construction, and installation specifications for the prevention of worker injury from falls. Other aspects cover procedures and guidelines for safe use of equipment, such as scaffolds, rope descent systems, and portable ladders.

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Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths.

The rules affect a wide range of workplaces, including building management services, utilities, warehousing, retail, window cleaning, chimney sweeping, and outdoor advertising.

OSHA’s walking-working surfaces rules for general industry workplaces apply to permanent workplaces, except where only domestic, mining, or agricultural work is performed.

Slips and Falls Requirements
29 CFR 1910.22
Surface conditions:
  • All workplaces, passageways, storerooms, service rooms, and walking-working surfaces are kept in a clean, orderly, and sanitary condition.
  • Workroom floors are maintained in a clean and, where practicable, dry condition. When wet presses are used, drainage must be maintained, and dry standing places, such as false floors, platforms, and mats, must be provided.
  • Walking-working surfaces must be kept free of hazards, such as sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.

Loads. Walking-working surfaces must be ...

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