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OSHA Fall Protection enforcement extension ends on 3/15/2013

Posted by Mark Paskell on Sat, Mar 16, 2013 @ 08:27 AM

OSHA's enforcement extension of the new Fall Protection Protection directive ended on 3/15/2013. Residential contractors must now fully comply and protect workers exposed to hazards 6 feet or more above lower levels. The interim fall protection directive is rescinded and replaced with the new standard. The new directive was announced over two years ago on 12/16/2010. OSHA agreed to extend full compliance enforcement expecting the extra time would result in more contractors training and adopting the new standards to protect their workers. 

What contractors need to know    

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Fall Protection is the number one focus for OSHA Enforcement and Education in the residential construction industry. OSHA targets their enforcement and education activity on industries with the largest amount of injuries and deaths. Residential construction is a targeted industry. A review of OSHA enforcement activity shows that Fall Protection citations and fines top the list of most cited standards.

Region 1 New England is under a Local Emphasis Program on fall hazards until 9/30/2015. This means enforcement and education in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont will be more intensive.

Last OSHA extension which ended on 3/15/2013:

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will extend for three months its temporary enforcement measures in residential construction. The temporary enforcement measures, now extended through March 15, 2013, include priority free on-site compliance assistance, penalty reductions, extended abatement dates, measures to ensure consistency and increased outreach. Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace death in construction.

What contractors need to do to make sure they are in full compliance of the OSHA Standards


  • must be provided for each worker who might be exposed to falls before they actually work at heights 6 feet or more above a lower level.
  • must be given by a competent person. 
  • must cover fall hazards in the work area.
  • must cover procedures for fall protection systems to be used.
  • must cover the use of guard rail systems
  • must cover the use of safety net systems
  • must cover the use of safety monitoring systems, controlled access zones and warning line systems.
  • must ensure that the training is effective

Training Program and Certification

The employer must have a training program with written plan. The training for each worker must be certified by a competent person and documented. The most current certifications need to be maintained and available. Re-training is necessary when field conditions, equipment or methods change.

Personal Protective Equipment

Employers must provide the needed equipment to protect their workers exposed to fall hazards.

NOTE: OSHA requires that the General Contractor/Employer provides a safe and healthy workplace to protect workers. Workers include employees and subcontractors. General Contractors should require that their subs provide proof of compliance with the fall protection standards by: providing a written fall protection plan and certification that their workers have received training from a competent person. For example: a GC requests that the roofer and painting subcontractor provides a written safety plan and copies of certification for workers who will perfom work on the site. 

OSHA Standards to train:

Subpart M: duty to provide fall protection for workers exposed to fall hazards 6 or more feet above a lower level. This standard requires the use of conventional fall protection; fall protections systems, guard rails and safety nets.

Subpart L Scaffolding: includes pipe staging, pump staging, ladders with brackets and planks, scissors lifts.

Subpart X Stairs and Ladders: includes ladders, stairways and rails

The extension phase to adopt and train the new fall protection has concluded. OSHA expects that the residential construction industry will fully adopt the fall protection standards to protect workers. 

Questions on what you need to do, training, what is required and equipment choices contact me or respond to the post.

Tags: fall protection