OSHA Residential Construction Standards

According to data from the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 40 workers are killed each year as a result of falls from residential roofs. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced new fall protection requirements for Residential Construction.

Residential Fall Protection
Effective March 15, 2013 - The new directive requires all residential builders to comply with 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926.501(b)(13).

Under 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13) workers engaged in residential construction six (6) feet or more above lower levels are to be protected by conventional fall protection. For roofers, the 25 foot, ground-to-eave height threshold no longer applies, nor do slide guards as an acceptable form of fall protection, regardless of the roof pitch or height of the roof eave.

These new requirements replace the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, Standard 03-00-001 that have been in effect since 1995 and allowed residential builders to bypass fall protection requirements.

OSHA has developed training and compliance assistance materials for small employers and will host a webinar for parties interested in learning more about complying with the standard.

OSHA's Residential Fall Protection Web page has many guidance products, including a fall protection slide show to help employers comply with the new directive. Employers are also encouraged to take full advantage of OSHA's On-site Consultation Program, which provides a free compliance assistance services, or contact their local OSHA Area Office to speak with a Compliance Assistant Specialist. See the news release for more information.

For more information, go to: www.osha.gov/doc/residential_fall_protection.html