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Breaking Down OSHA's Revised Fall Protection Standards for Utility Workers

By Gerry Fox

Ineffective or missing fall protection has been OSHA’s most-cited violation every year since 2011, and falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Year after year, fall protection remains a key concern for employers throughout the United States. Not just that, but electrical workers routinely face hazards in the form of high-voltage equipment, dangerous heights, and extreme weather conditions.

OSHA recognizes these dangers and in 2014, updated some of its fall protection regulations to keep employees safe while working at heights. 29 CFR §1926.954 covers PPE requirements, including fall protection, and 29 CFR §1910.269 covers electric power generation, transmission and distribution work. The agency hadn’t updated its rules since 1972 and sought to align them more closely with general industry standards.

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