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OSHA Again Delays Full Enforcement of Residential Construction Fall Protection

Pekin Insurance® is sharing the latest residential fall protection standards. The article below is from the National Safety Council, OSHA Up to Date, October 2012.

For the fourth time, OSHA has delayed full enforcement of its residential construction fall protection directive, giving employers until December 15 to comply before imposing harsher penalties.

The directive requires employers to follow fall protection rules on residential construction projects unless they can prove conventional methods are not feasible and they have a written plan for specific alternatives. Before the directive was issued, residential construction employers could more easily bypass the requirements. Since the directive initially went into effect June 16, 2011, OSHA has delayed full enforcement measures. Instead, the agency implemented a three-month “phase-in” period during which, it said, no citations would be issued for failing to comply with the new directive. This period was followed by a more lenient enforcement policy for employers found not in compliance with the new directive. The policy includes reduced penalties, extended abatement dates, and priority onsite compliance assistance.

According to OSHA, since October 1, 2011, the agency has conducted more than 2,500 onsite consultation visits, 925 training sessions, and 438 presentations on fall protection in residential construction. “Our compliance safety and health officers and area directors continue to demonstrate to the industry that OSHA is taking a commonsense approach when enforcing the requirements,” Jim Maddux, director of the agency’s Directorate of Construction, said in a memorandum extending the enforcement policy. “OSHA will continue to work with employers to facilitate compliance with the policy.”

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