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Fall Protection Rulemaking (for all Industries)


The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) would like to invite interested stakeholders to participate in updating the current fall protection and walking-working surfaces standards.  On June 2013 and October 2015 DOSH received notification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) relating to L&I's fall protection standards, Chapter 296-155 WAC, Part C-1.

The focus of OSHA’s position is residential construction which has both high fatality and hospitalization rates due to falls from elevation. OSHA is concerned that our fall protection residential construction standards differ significantly from their policies and standards. Their policy issues focus in the following areas: Ambiguous language with regards to skylights and wall openings, the use and strength of warning lines, alternatives to conventional fall protection- catch platforms and safety watch systems and trigger height.  Our goal moving forward is to have Chapter 296-155 WAC be at least as effective as those administered by OSHA, as required by the Washington State Plan.

During our last update to Fall Protection in the year 2013, the rule had widespread support within the state from business and labor. These partner organizations invested a significant amount of time and effort into creating and adopting what we consider to be some of the most protective and up-to-date worker safety requirements in the nation. Hence, we are confident that stakeholder involvement will help us move forward in the right direction.

On March 22, 2016 a CR-101 (preproposal) was filed, letting the public know we were considering rulemaking. We held a meeting on July 11, 2016, to discuss potential rulemaking. Through a series of public forums held in the fall of 2016 through the summer of 2017, we found widespread support from stakeholders who said a single, unified fall protection standard that applied to all industries statewide would be easier to implement and help protect workers from fall hazards.  These meetings were held around the state in Tukwila, Bellingham, Vancouver, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane.

Please see Tab 2 “Unified Fall Protection” to find more information regarding this updated rulemaking process. We want to hear from you; public participation is key to successfully developing standards for worker safety.

Stakeholder draft

More information and resources

Meeting info

Previous meeting reports

For additional information about meetings, contact Carmyn Shute.

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