Stricter Fall Safety Laws aim to Prevent Injuries

December 18, 2012 - As of Dec. 15, OSHA’s new fall protection regulations take effect for the US residential construction industry. Falls have long been the leading cause of death for residential construction workers, with an average of 40 workers suffering a fatal fall from a residential structure each year. These types of at-height worker injury and fatality statistics prompted OSHA to invoke stricter safety regulations.

The new requirements include:

·      All employees working 6 feet or more above lower levels must use fall protection equipment, such as guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems.

·      Specific types of work may implement other fall protection measures to the extent allowed under other provisions. For example, warning lines and safety monitor systems are permitted during low-slope roof work.

·      Effective fall-restraint system, rigged to prevent a worker from encountering a fall hazard and falling over the edge, may be used instead of a personal fall arrest system.

·      Acceptable fall restraint system may consist of a full body harness or body belt connected to an anchor point at the center of the roof by a lanyard; this lanyard should be of adequate length in order to restrict a worker from physically reaching the edge of the roof.

OSHA's issuance of the new instruction (1926.501) is a progressive change for the residential construction industry. Contractors need to understand the new laws and prepare workers with the knowledge, training, and equipment they need to be safe and compliant, according to OSHA.

To read more, visit: OSHA Residential Construction Regulations Compliance

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