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OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910 Fall Protection UPDATE

PMI testified recently at a four-day OSHA Hearing regarding proposed revisions to the Walking-Working Surfaces standard (Subpart D) and addition of a new Subpart I for Personal Fall Protection Equipment Criteria. In the hearing, OSHA heard testimony from a wide variety of respondants, some of whom petitioned for significant limitations on rope based work at height, and some of whom petitioned for a broader acceptance.

SPRAT, AWEA, and some private companies testified on behalf of the viability and benefits of rope access, but there was also significant representation from the scaffold industry and employee representatives who seek to restrict rope work. In her testimony, PMI Vice President Loui McCurley specifically requested that work on rope be regulated separately from suspended scaffold regulation (which is where it resides in the proposed regulation), and that it not be restricted to window cleaning (which is how the proposed regulation currently reads). Instead, we petitioned OSHA to incorporate performance oriented language to define the goals and capabilities for rope access systems and qualifications of practitioners, regardless of the industry in which rope access is practiced.

OSHA estimates that within 14 days the hearing transcripts should be available in the public docket (Docket No. OSHA-2007-0072) at http://www.regulations.gov.

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