On June 9, 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a three-month phase-in period to allow residential construction employers to come into compliance with the Agency’s new directive to provide residential construction workers with fall protection.
The three month phase-in period runs from June 16 to September 15, 2011. During this time, if the employer is in full compliance with the old directive (STD 03-00-001), OSHA will not issue citations but will issue a hazard alert letter informing the employer of the feasible methods it can use to comply with OSHA's fall protection standard or implement a written fall protection plan. If the employer's practices do not meet the requirements set in the old directive, OSHA will issue appropriate citations.
If an employer fails to implement the fall protection measures outlined in a hazard alert letter, and during a subsequent inspection of one of the employer's workplaces OSHA finds violations involving the same hazards, the Area Office shall issue appropriate citations.
The new directive, “Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction” (STD 03-11- 002), a detailed description of the phase-in policy, a presentation and other guidance materials about requirements for protecting workers from falls, are available at www.osha.gov/doc/residential_fall_protec tion.html.
OSHA has a wide variety of resources and guidance materials to assist employers in complying with the new directive, including many guidance products and a fall protection slide show. OSHA has encouraged employers to contact its local Area Offices and take advantage of its free On-site Consultation Program.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.