Residential builders will no longer be allowed to bypass fall protection requirements, thanks to a new directive from OSHA that replaces one issued in 1995.

The earlier directive, the result of concerns about the feasibility of fall protection in residential building construction, was intended to be a temporary policy, according to an agency press release.

However, because data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there continues to be a high number of fall-related deaths in residential construction, industry experts now feel that feasibility is no longer a concern.

The National Association of Home Builders, the National Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association all recommended rescinding the 1995 directive.

The new directive may be viewed at OSHA’s Residential Fall Protection www.osha.gov/doc/residential_fall_protection.html. page.