Unified 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 a review of rulemaking specifically related to fall protection requirements and references included in:

      • Chapter 296-155 WAC  Construction Work
      • Chapter 296-24 WAC    General Health and Safety, Part A, Part J and appendices
      • Chapter 296-800 WAC  Core Rules        
      • Chapter 296-32 WAC    Telecommunication
      • Chapter 296-45 WAC    Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
      • Chapter 296-56 WAC    Longshore, Stevedore and Waterfront Related Operations
      • Chapter 296-59 WAC    Ski Area Facilities and Operations
      • Chapter 296-78 WAC    Sawmills and Woodworking Operations
      • Chapter 296-79 WAC    Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills and Converters
      • Chapter 296-301 WAC  Textile Industry
      • Chapter 296-304 WAC  Ship Repairing, Ship Building and Shipbreaking        
      • Chapter 296-307 WAC  Agriculture, Part O
      • Chapter 296-863 WAC  Forklifts and other Powered Industrial Trucks
      • Chapter 296-869 WAC  Elevating Work Platforms
      • Chapter 296-870 WAC  Powered Platforms
      • Chapter 296-874 WAC  Scaffolds
      • Chapter 296-876 WAC  Ladders, Portable and Fixed
      • Chapter 296-878 WAC  Window Cleaning      

This rulemaking will possibly create a new Chapter -- Chapter 296-880 WAC, Unified Fall Protection


On June 2013 and October 2015 DOSH received notification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) relating to the Department'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.

On March 22, 2016 a CR-101 (preproposal) was filed, letting the public know we were considering rulemaking on fall protection to address the concerns outlined by OSHA in their October 2015 notification and make sure our fall protection rules are as effective as the OSHA requirements. Because Washington's rules need to be at least as effective as OSHA rules, we are required to update our rules so they meet or exceed the federal safety requirements. A series of stakeholder meetings were held around the state in Tukwila, Bellingham, Wenatchee, Vancouver, Yakima and Spokane in the fall of 2016 extending through the summer of 2017. Through these public forums 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.

Beginning in August 2018, the department held seven stakeholder meetings across the state in Wenatchee, Kennewick, Yakima, Bellingham, Seattle, Spokane and Vancouver. Once again, through these public forums we found support for a unified fall protection standard.  Due to the change in the intended scope, the previously filed CR-101 was rescinded and a new CR-101 (preproposal) was filed on February 19, 2019.
If you would like to be added to the email distribution list and get all the information regarding this rulemaking and our next stakeholder meeting see below.

Meeting information

    Currently there are no meetings scheduled.

Meeting Reports

Rule Drafts & Rulemaking info

Historical information and resources

Please contact Carmyn Shute with any rulemaking or meeting questions: Carmyn.Shute@Lni.wa.gov, 360-902-6081.

Please contact Erich Smith with any technical questions about the Unified Fall Protection rule: Erich.Smith@Lni.wa.gov, 206-515-2786.

If you would you like to get updates via email, please select the "Fall Protection Rulemaking" topic when you sign up to receive email updates.

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