The three-month phase-in period granted by OSHA to residential construction companies for complying with the agency's new fall protection directive began June 16 and ends on September 15, 2011. During this time, if the employer is in full compliance with OSHA’s previous fall protection directive (STD 03-00-001), OSHA will not issue citations, but rather a hazard alert letter informing the employer of the feasible methods they can use to comply with OSHA's fall protection standard or implement a written fall protection plan. If the employer's practices do not meet the requirements set in the old directive, OSHA will issue appropriate citations.
If an employer fails to implement the fall protection measures outlined in a hazard alert letter, and during a subsequent inspection of one of the employer's workplaces OSHA finds violations involving the same hazards, the Area Office will issue appropriate citations.
OSHA has a variety of resources available to help employers understand and comply with the new residential construction fall protection directive, including a fall protection slide show that recently received more than 3,000 hits in one week. In addition, the agency offers a free On-site Consultation Program and has Compliance Assistance Specialists in most Area Offices.
The new directive, Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction (STD 03-11-002), a detailed description of the phase-in policy, a presentation and other guidance materials about requirements for protecting workers from falls are available at www.osha.gov.