Cancelation of Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction supported by ASSE

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has publicly stated its support for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) directive canceling the interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction.

ASSE President Terrie S. Norris recently wrote a letter to Assistant Secretary for OSHA Dr. David Michaels, stating the group supports the recent action taken to replace the interim residential fall protection guidlines with OSHA's new compliance guidance. The new guidance requires all residential construction employers to comply with OSHA's fall protection standards for workers operating higher than six feet.

Norris stated that despite some criticism of the directive, "the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) takes this opportunity to state the Society’s support for the change in policy as a needed step forward in protecting workers."

Before the changes were made, employers were allowed to use alternative methods of fall protection in the construction industry that weren't under OSHA's construction standards. Now, Norris says, fall protection requirements are consistent throughout the construction and general industries, and also adhere to the ANSI/ASSE Z359 Fall Protection Code.

"ASSE commends OSHA for its efforts to work with residential contractors in the implementation of this policy both by extending its temporary enforcement measures, and in providing extensive resources to help employers in implementing the policy," Norris concluded in his letter. "Thank you for your leadership in advancing this important step forward in protecting workers in construction."

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