Falls caused by slips or trips are among the most common causes of work-related injuries and deaths. Most of these fall-related accidents are preventable. OSHA has developed regulations on walking-working surfaces for the general industry and requires employers to provide fall protection to help reduce the risk for these types of injuries.

Discussion Points:
• What is a walking-working surface?
• How do you identify walking-working surfaces hazards?
• Identify hazards in the workplace with walking and working surfaces;
• Identify best practices for eliminating or controlling hazards associated with walking-
working surfaces;
• What are the employers’ responsibilities for walking-working surfaces?

OSHA regulates slips, trips, and falls under 29 CFR 1910, Subpart D. This regulation standard was updated in 2017, and requires employers to perform a Walking-Working Surfaces Assessment to identify hazards and comply with OSHA requirements to eliminate hazards from the workplace.

OSHA defines a walking-working surface as “any horizontal or vertical surface on or through which an employee walks, works, or gains access to a work area or workplace location.” These walking-working surfaces should be regularly inspected and maintained free of hazards such as uneven walking surfaces, clutter, electrical cords, grease, snow, ice, and spills. Employers must ensure walking-working surfaces are structurally sound. The surfaces must be able to support the maximum intended load, aisles should be kept clear with no obstructions that could create hazards, and wet surfaces should be provided with adequate drainage to maintain safe conditions. OSHA has developed a web page to provide employers and workers with useful, up-to-date information and guidance on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems

Final Rule-Frequently Asked Questions on their website – OSHA. The Walking-working Surfaces standard intends to increase protection for employers and workers and reduce the number of injuries and deaths that occur each year from fall hazards.

As always, be safe out there!