OSHA issues guidance as court upholds fall protection directive
The guidance follows the December release of OSHA's Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction. It requires that residential construction employers provide workers with fall protection according to OSHA's standard.
The guidance is directed mainly to those working on new construction and describes steps employers can take during stages of construction. For example, it includes chapters on:
- Installing roof trusses.
- Installing roof sheathing.
- Foundation walls and formwork.
- Installing floor joists and floor trusses.
- Installing subfloors.
- Installing walls.
- Sheathing walls.
- Exterior finishing.
- Interior finishing.
Among the methods for preventing fall-related injuries and deaths are using anchors for personal fall arrest systems and fall restraints, safety net systems, guardrails, ladders, and scaffolds for activities such as installing roof sheathing, weatherproofing a roof, and installing walls and subfloors.
Falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction, according to OSHA. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an average of 40 workers are killed each year as a result of falls from residential roofs.
The directive issued in December rescinded the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction. It requires all residential construction employers to comply with 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926.501(b)(13). Where residential builders can demonstrate that traditional fall protection is not feasible, it allows for alternative means of providing protection.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the directive brought by the National Roofing Construction Association. Construction and roofing companies have until June 16 to comply with the new directive.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
May 16, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications