NEW OSHA Fall Protection Regulation 3 Month Phase-In Announced

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced today a three-month phase-in period, from June 16 to Sept. 15, for compliance with the agency's new residential construction fall protection directive. That ruling, announced last December, previously had to be complied with starting on June 16.

During the phase-in period, companies complying with the old fall protection directive will be issued a hazard alert letter by OSHA telling how to comply with the new standard. Companies that do not comply with the hazard alert letters, and are found to be in violation of the directive during subsequent inspections, will be issued citations. Companies complying with neither standard will not be issued a hazard alert letter and will be issued citations also.

The directive announced last December rescinds the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, Standard 03-00-001. The directive, implemented in 1995, allowed builders engaged in certain residential construction activities to use specified alternative methods of fall protection rather than the conventional fall protection standards. The new standard requires builders to comply with 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926.501(b)(13), which requires conventional fall protection standards for workers engaged in residential construction over six feet above the ground. The federal code does allow for alternative forms of fall protection, but only when conventional protections are not feasible.

"We want to make sure that the residential construction industry has every opportunity to successfully come into compliance with the new directive," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "I am confident that this phase-in period will provide employers the additional time and flexibility they need to alter their work practices in accordance with the requirements of the new directive."

Please contact your local Arrow Building Center yard manager or sales representative for details on the selection of fall protection products offered.