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OSHA revises enforcement policies for fall protection during steel erection (10/5)

October 5, 2009
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OSHA recently revised the steel erection compliance directive for the agency's Steel Erection Standard to change two enforcement policies related to tripping hazards and installation of nets or floors during steel erection.

One of the revised policies addresses the standard's requirement that employers install a floor or net within two stories or 30 feet, whichever is less.

The other policy states that employers must comply with the requirement that steel studs, known as shear connectors, be installed at the worksite. Shear connectors bind concrete to the steel.

"Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "We are intent on reducing the number of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry and believe these policy revisions will help us attain that goal."

Bureau of Labor Statistics 2007 data show that 1,204 fatalities occurred in the construction industry, 447 of which resulted from falls. The steel erection standard sets forth requirements to protect workers from the hazards associated with steel erection activities when constructing, altering, and repairing single and multi-story buildings, bridges, and other structures where steel erection occurs.

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