Monday, January 17, 2011

OSHA Rescinds Old Residential Fall Protection Directive

As a long-time safety director in the construction industry I say "IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!"

OSHA finally announced the withdrawel of a 1995 directive that allowed residential builders to ignore many fall protection requirements. According to OSHA, the 1995 directive was meant to be "temporary" until feasible fall protection solutions could be found. Well, there have been feasible solutions long before now so, IT'S ABOUT TIME!

OSHA's action rescinds the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, Standard 03-00-001. Prior to the issuance of this new directive, Standard 03-00-001 allowed employers engaged in certain residential construction activities to use specified alternative methods of fall protection rather than conventional fall protection required by the residential construction fall protection standard. With the issuance of this new directive, all residential employers must comply with 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13). Where residential builders fine that traditional fall protection is not feasible in residential environments, 29 CFR 501(b)(13) still allows for alternate means of providing protection. In my opinion, it will be very rare that conventional fall protection cannot be used. About 1996, the Saf-T-Strap made creating safe anchor points very easy.

Construction and roofing companies have up to six months to comply with the new directive. OSHA has developed training and compliance assistance materials for small employers adn will host a webinar for parties interested in learning more about complying with the standard. To view the new directive, visit

It is also my opinion that compliance, in most cases, is very easy and inexpensive, and it should not take six months to comply.


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