Walking and Working Surfaces Program
Indiana University Environmental Health and Safety (IUEHS) has developed this Program to ensure the safety of employees from unsafe walking and working surfaces. This Program is intended to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards contained in 29 CFR 1910.21, 22, and 23.
This Program applies to all Indiana University employees and establishes appropriate procedures, corrective measures, and protective measures related to walking and working surfaces in the workplace.
Authority and responsibility
- University Environmental Health and Safety (IUEHS) is responsible for:
- Developing the Walking and Working Surface Program and revising the Program as appropriate;
- Inspecting walking and working surfaces for appropriate guarding and conditions as needed or upon request, and reporting any hazardous conditions to the appropriate department(s);
- Assisting departments with the selection of proper walking/working surface guarding upon request; and
- Investigating injuries related to walking and working surfaces.
- Supervisors are responsible for:
- Ensuring employees are aware of walking and working surface hazards appropriate to their assigned task;
- Ensuring employees are provided with and use appropriate personal protective equipment and materials; and
- Ensuring that machines and equipment are maintained in a manner that eliminates conditions that may result in a slip, trip, or fall.
- Employees are responsible for:
- Understanding when a fall hazard is present;
- Reporting hazards to their supervisor or other responsible department;
- Using appropriate safety-related work practices, including all necessary personal protective equipment and materials;
- Reporting lighting deficiencies to the Physical Plant/Facilities Services (PP/FS) for the respective campus;
- Maintaining their immediate work areas in a clean and orderly manner and free of known hazards;
- Notifying maintenance of conditions beyond their control; and
- Ensuring that aisles are kept clean, free of material, scrap, or any type of debris.
- University Architects Office (UAO) is responsible for:
- Designing and ensuring proper installation of protection systems related to walking and working surfaces.
- General work areas
- All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms shall be kept clean, orderly, sanitary, and free of known hazards.
- The floor of every workroom shall be maintained in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition. Where wet processes are used, drainage shall be maintained, and false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places will be provided where practicable.
- To facilitate cleaning, every floor, working place, and passageway shall be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, or loose boards.
- Sufficient illumination will be provided in all areas at all times.
- Machines and equipment
- Crowding must be avoided where ever possible.
- Spills of non-hazardous materials need to be cleaned up immediately by the employee responsible for such, or reported immediately to Building Services for the respective campus. If the spill cannot be removed immediately, then warning signs or barricades sufficient to warn personnel shall be placed at the spill site.
Aisles and passageways
- Where mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient safe clearances will be maintained for aisles, at loading docks, through doorways and wherever turns or passage must be made. Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear and in good repairs, with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard.
- Where required, permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked.
Floor loading protection
- Whenever loads or single items exceeding 350lbs are to be placed on balcony areas or roofing structures, safe load capacity shall be reviewed prior to taking this action.
- Safe floor loading capacities will be marked on signage and affixed in a conspicuous place at each space to which they relate.
General specification and design requirement
- OSHA 1910.23 covers the specifications for walking and working surfaces. These specifications need to be consulted and incorporated into project design for renovations and new projects.
Training and recordkeeping
A formal training is not required for this Program, however, all supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees understand and recognize general walking and working surface hazards in their work area.
- A description the specific hazards associated with walking and working surfaces and guards;
- Safeguards to mitigate that hazard; and
- Contact the supervisor if a safeguard is damaged or missing
- 29 CFR 1910.21, Definitions, Walking-Working Surfaces
- 29 CFR 1910.22, General Requirements
- 29 CFR 1910.23, Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes
- Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) H-20
- IU Walking and Working Surfaces Program - PDF
New Document: October 15, 2015