Looks like there are no areas immune to OSHA's reach. This morning we just learned from a Long Island residential contractor that OSHA is hitting neighborhoods. They are randomly looking for residential contractors renovating residential properties. Fall Protection is the main focus.
OSHA Fall Protection Compliance Deadline is 9/16/2011
Today OSHA requires that all residential contractors who work 6' above lower levels have a written fall protection plan in place. The contractor must use safety nets, guard rails and fall arrest systems when working over these heights. The contractor must also train all workers who work on the site above 6'. OSHA says workers are employees and subcontractors. (Fall Protection Training Riverhead NY 10/7/2011)
The contractor reported he was cited for a fall protection violation. The contractor also said a roofer in a nearby Nassau County town was fined a few weeks ago because his men were not wearing harnesses.
Random OSHA Site Audits with no warning
The Long Island contractor said he asked the OSHA officer how they found the jobsite.
The contractor told me the OSHA Officer said;
"I randomly drive into a neighborhood, pull over and listen for hammering, saws or other construction noise to get my leads. Then I go to the site, look for violations, write up the citation and then go on to the next one"
OSHA has named the residential construction industry as a targeted industry. This means for the next 3-5 years they will be focusing their attention on residential construction sites and residential contractors. In my state of Massachusetts we are experiencing the same attention from OSHA.
Residential Contractor OSHA Awareness
Most contractors are telling us they have not heard about the new OSHA Fall Protection requirements or the 9/16/2011 deadline. One contractor told us today that they get their information from their lumberyard. His lumberyard had no idea about OSHA Fall Protection requirement. One would think that OSHA would spread the word through lumberyards and material suppliers.
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