When a framing contractor on an apartment project in San Antonio, Texas balked recently at having its workers use fall protection – based on the argument that he never used fall protection in residential construction – the construction management company overseeing the project lowered the boom.

A safety team leader for Harvey Cleary made it clear that following OSHA fall protection requirements was a condition of employment, and failing to do so could cost the contractor and his workers their jobs.

Harvey Clearly, a participant in OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program, mandates the use of fall protection at all times for all contractors.

Faced with that ultimatum, the contractor on the apartment project engineered a fall protection system and had his employees secured to lifelines. A short time after the system was put into place, three workers fell from the top of the structure but never hit the ground because their lifelines arrested their falls.

“Not only did the insistence of Harvey Cleary's safety team leader potentially save the lives of three people, it convinced the framing contractor to ensure that his employees have adequate fall protection on future jobs,” according to OSHA.