From OSHA’s Office of Cooperative Programs –
OSHA has issued a directive rescinding its Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction. To help employers and workers understand the new directive, OSHA has issued a fact sheet and a set of questions and answers on fall protection in residential construction. OSHA will begin enforcement activities based on the new directive on June 16, 2011.
The rescinded interim guidelines allowed employers engaged in certain residential construction activities to use specified alternative methods of fall protection (e.g., slide guards or safety monitor systems) rather than the conventional fall protection (guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems) required by the residential construction fall protection standard (29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13)). Employers could use the alternative measures described in the interim guidelines without first proving that the use of conventional fall protection was infeasible or created a greater hazard and without a written fall protection plan. With the issuance of the new directive, all residential construction employers must comply with 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13).
OSHA News Release on the directive can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=19005. The Directive, Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction (STD 03-11-002, Dec. 16, 2010), can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=4755. The Federal Register Notice (Dec. 22, 2010) can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=21875. OSHA’s Fact Sheet: Fall Protection in Residential Construction can be found at http://www.osha.gov/doc/fall_protection_factsheet.pdf. Residential construction questions and answers can be found at http://www.osha.gov/doc/residential-construction/residential-construction-qa.html