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Jeffrey Downs
Jeffrey Downs
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Five Basic Considerations your Builder/Employer Should be Enforcing on the Residential Job-site

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The leading cause of injury and death in the residential construction industry occurs when workers fall from elevation on the work site. The lack of proper fall protection is cited as the leading reason for these falls and accompanying injuries. Due to the cold hard statistics as regards to these falls, and the failure of the builder/employer to actually enforce proper job-site safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently strengthened its fall protection requirement. Effective June 16, 2011, “OSHA” has announced that employers engaged in residential construction must comply with 29 CFR 1926.501 (b) (13) in full effect. The following are five minimum considerations that your builder/employer must do to protect the safety of their employees:

  • 1. Require workers engaged in residential construction six (6) feet or more above lower levels to be protected by conventional fall protection (i.e. personal fall arrest systems, safety nets, or guardrails ) or other approved methods set forth in 1926.501(b);
  • 2. Train all employees subject to a fall hazard to recognize the hazards of falling, and the procedures that are in play on the job-site to prevent a fall;
  • 3. Utilize warning lines and safety monitoring systems for those working on low sloped roofs as defined in the regulations;
  • 4. Properly attach a fall restraint system when used in place of a fall arrest system by requiring a connection that would prevent a worker from reaching a fall hazard and/or a fall from an edge; and
  • 5. Develop a written site-specific “Fall Protection Plan” if the employers intends to use an alternative to conventional fall protection systems when the builder/employer can show that conventional methods of fall protection are “infeasible” or would pose “a greater hazard” to the employee.
  • For more information on how to safely protect yourself in the workplace go to www.osha.gov.