There’s going to be some big changes in the fall safety industry. In 2017, OSHA published new regulations regarding fixed ladders that will shape how workers are protected for years to come. First of all, the ruling from OSHA 1910.28(b)(9) states that general industry employers are now required to provide fall safety protection on fixed ladders that are 24’ above a lower level. This regulation puts the general industry on par with with OSHA’s construction standards, which already had similar requirements.
OSHA has a 20-year plan to phase out ladder cages and wells in favor of ladder safety and personal fall arrest systems. According to OSHA ruling 1910.128(b)(9)(i), all fixed ladders built after November 19, 2018 must be equipped with a ladder safety or personal fall arrest system. Ladders constructed before that date have 20 years to have those systems installed. The plan is to have all fixed ladders have compliant fall safety in place by November 18, 2036. Relying solely on ladder wells and cages will no longer be OSHA compliant after that date.