Maritime Industry

Shipyard Fall Protection Rulemaking


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA or the Agency) proposes to revise its safety standards that address scaffolds in shipbuilding, ship repair, shipbreaking, and other shipyard-related employment. The current standards in 29 CFR Part 1915 are not comprehensive in their coverage of shipyard hazards, including hazards related to scaffolds, and thus must be supplemented by the general industry standards (29 CFR Part 1910) as necessary to provide complete coverage for all the hazards encountered in shipyards. Furthermore, the Agency has not updated the scaffold standards for shipyard employment in 29 CFR 1915, Subpart E since adopting them in 1971.

About the Rule

This proposed rule will be the first in a series of proposals which are intended to revise Part 1915 to provide comprehensive updated standards covering walking-working surface hazards in shipyard employment in one place in the Code of Federal Regulations. This proposal addresses scaffolds, and would create a new section of Part 1915 – Subpart N – for all standards related to scaffolds in shipyard employment. It generally would adopt the construction standards for scaffolds, following the approach OSHA took in the Agency’s 2016 final rule for walking-working surfaces in general industry, but proposes changes to the construction standards where necessary to accommodate differences in how and where scaffolds are used in construction and shipyards. In certain limited cases, OSHA proposes to retain existing shipyard standards; in others, the Agency proposes adopting applicable general industry standards.

The agency has thus far conducted the following rulemaking activity:

The next step in the rulemaking process is to publish a proposed rule.