New OSHA Residential Construction Standard

Everyone knows that construction is a dangerous industry. An average of 40 workers per year are killed as a result of falling from a residential roof. Because of this, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a new standard for residential construction work. The new standard cancels the original standards issued in 1995 and 1999. The new changes take effect on June 16, 2011.

Effective June 16th, workers performing residential construction who could fall 6 feet or more must be protected by one or more forms of fall protection. Those working on low sloped roofs (less than or equal to a 4:12 pitch) are no longer allowed to use slide guards as the only form of fall protection. Guardrails, nets, or personal fall arrest systems must be used while working on low sloped roofs. A combination of protection, including warning line and guardrail, or warning line and personal fall arrest system, can also be used.

Workers on a steep sloped roof must be protected by guardrails with toe boards, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems. If these forms of fall protection aren’t feasible, or create a greater hazard, a fall protection plan can be used. The plan must be written by a qualified person, be site specific, up-to-date, and document why the use of conventional fall protection isn’t feasible or creates a greater hazard.

Who’s affected by the new Standard?
The new standard applies to workers engaged in residential construction work. This type of work is defined as a home or dwelling being built with traditional wood frame construction materials and methods. The limited use of structural steel in a predominantly wood frame home still qualifies as residential construction. Using sheet metal studs or masonry brick in exterior walls is also considered residential construction.

We know that changes in OSHA standards can be confusing. If you have any questions about whether this new standard applies to you, give our Technical Support Reps a call at 1-800-631-1246. They’re extremely knowledgeable about the changes and are happy to help you. They can also answer your questions about which products will help you comply with the changes. Plus, we’ve created a page on our website dedicated to the new standard. Go to for details and products to help you comply.

Source: Capital Safety

Northern Safety Co., Inc.
PO Box 4250. Utica, NY 13504-4250
Phone: 1-800-571-4646
Fax: 1-800-635-1591

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