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Press Release

OSHA Extends Temporary Enforcement Measures on Fall Protection

OSHA has extended its temporary enforcement protocols on fall protection in residential construction projects. Learn more about these procedures through the following article.
May 16, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In an effort to reduce the number of falls in residential construction projects, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently extended its temporary enforcement measures stemming from its residential fall protection directive. The original plan, which began on June 16, 2011, was originally slated to end on March 15, 2012. However, the directive will now be extended until September 15, 2012.
During the adjustment period, OSHA relaxed the enforcement of the new policies to give contractors time to make appropriate changes. For example, employers were given 30 days from the date of the violation to comply. During that time, no repeat citations (or additional penalties) would be levied, unless a serious injury or catastrophe occurred. Further, OSHA directors made good faith reductions on penalties for non-compliance, and considered other attempts employers made to comply with the new rules before issuing sanctions.
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and federal regulators have made prevention a priority. Essentially, employers must provide roofers and construction workers with fall protection equipment whenever work is performed six feet or higher above the ground. A number of measures could be used, including personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), guardrails, and rope grabs. Employers were also required to develop written fall protection plans when they did not actively provide safety equipment.
In light of the changes involved, many employers were still following the previous rules. To that end, OSHA encouraged their Compliance Assistance Specialists to help construction companies understand and adjust to the new protection directives. It reportedly has conducted more than 1,000 outreach sessions to help employers comply with the new rules.
The new safety rules are important, especially given the recent uptick in new home construction and the positive forecast for the housing industry. If you have questions about how the new rules affect you, an experienced attorney can assist you.
Article provided by The Law Firm of Janice M. Greening, LLC
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