OSHA extends temporary fall protection measures again
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA announced Aug. 30 it will once again will extend for three months its temporary enforcement measures in residential construction.
The temporary enforcement measures instruct OSHA inspectors who find residential roofers not complying with the new residential fall protection directive, but following the old directive (Plain Language Revision of OSHA Instruction STD 3.1, Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, STD 03-00-001), to do the following:
- Allow an additional good faith reduction in penalties of up to 10% for employers engaged in residential construction. In addition to the safety and health management system good faith determination in Chapter 6 of the Field Operations Manual, the Area Director shall consider examples of attempting to comply in good faith to include: requesting and scheduling an On-site Consultation visit, ordering protective fall equipment for its employees, or performing a documented evaluation of feasible means of abatement. This good faith reduction does not apply in cases of a fatality, catastrophe, or serious injury resulting from a fall during residential construction activities.
- Allow residential construction employers at least 30 days to correct fall protection violations identified under the new residential fall protection directive. During that time, if such employers are not in compliance at that site or another site, no additional citations or repeat citations shall be issued. This policy does not apply in cases of a fatality, catastrophe, or serious injury resulting from a fall during residential construction activities.
OSHA put these temporary enforcement measures in place Sept. 22, 2011 with an expiration date of March 15, 2012. The government agency then extended the measures to expire Sep. 15, 2012.
This new extension pushes back the erxperation date to Dec. 15, 2012.
The new regulations, 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13), require all workers engaged in residential construction over six (6) feet above the ground level are to be protected by conventional fall protection. For roofers, the 25 foot, ground to- eave height threshold no longer applies, nor do slide guards as an acceptable form of fall protection, regardless of the roof pitch or height of the roof eave.
These new requirements replaced the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, Standard 03-00- 001 were in effect since 1995 and allowed residential builders to bypass fall protection requirements.
To help companies meet the fall protection imitative Safety Services Company offers affordable “Do-It-Yourself” fall protection training program. For more information call 877-201-8923.