Recent OSHA Construction Standards

OSHA Rescinds the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction

Effective June 16, 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a directive rescinding the interim fall protection compliance guidelines for residential construction (STD 03-00-001).

Before this new directive was issued, employers engaged in residential construction activities could use alternative methods of fall protection, such as slide guards and safety monitor systems, without first proving that conventional fall protection was infeasible or created a greater hazard.

Residential construction employers must now comply with 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13).

To be considered residential construction, the work must meet both of the following criteria:

Generally, residential contractors must ensure that employees working six feet or more above lower levels be protected from fall hazards by use of guard rails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems. The new directive allows for other fall protection methods as outlined in 29 CFR 1926.501(b), such as warning lines and safety monitoring systems, during roofing work on low-sloped roofs, 4-in. 12 pitch (vertical to horizontal) or less, that are 50 feet or less in width. Roofs more than 50 feet in width and greater than 4-in. 12 pitch slope must be protected by conventional fall protection methods.

It should be noted that the requirements for fall protection for residential construction work being done from scaffolds, ladders and aerial lifts are found in Subpart L and Subpart X of the 29 CFR 1926.

The following summary of requirements found in 29 CFR 1926.501 must now be followed by residential contractors:

More information is available on OSHA's Residential Fall Protection Web page. 

OSHA Revises its Voluntary Outreach Training Program

On April 15, 2011, OSHA issued a communication revising its voluntary outreach training program. The “program guidelines” have been changed to “program requirements” and apply to all Outreach Training Programs.

The following is a summary of the changes. Outreach trainers will need to visit OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov for more information and specifics of the requirements.

Outreach Training Program enhancements include, but are not limited to:

Some additional requirements include:

More information can be obtained at the OSHA Outreach Training Program Page at http://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/index.html

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