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May 2023: OSHA Announces National Emphasis Program to Reduce and Prevent Workplace Falls

17 May

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Update Applicable to:

All employers in all industries.

What happened?

On May 1, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) to prevent and reduce workplace falls. 

What are the details?

OSHA’s goal in releasing this NEP is to significantly reduce or eliminate unprotected worker exposures to fall-related hazards through a combination of increased enforcement, outreach efforts and compliance assistance.  This NEP applies to all industries, although OSHA acknowledges that most inspections conducted pursuant to the NEP will occur in the construction industry. Inspections within the scope of the NEP will include two categories: (1) programmed inspections; and (2) self-referrals. 

State OSHA Plans have 60 days from the effective date of the NEP to notify OSHA whether they intend to adopt the NEP or already have in place policies and procedures that are identical to or at least as effective as the federal OSHA program, with final adoption to be accomplished within six months.

For more information, please see the links below:

Announcement/News Release

Compliance and Law Firm Summaries/Opinions: Article 1; Article 2; Article 3

What do employers need to do?

Employers should prepare for increased fall-related inspections and enforcement efforts in 2023 and beyond.  To that end, employers should make sure they have developed, implemented, and are maintaining a plan to reduce the risk of exposure to fall-related hazards in the workplace.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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