constructionIn a letter sent last month to the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health , OSHA said it does not believe that Arizona’s residential fall protection standards are at least as effective as federal OSHA standards.

Federal OSHA has several concerns with Arizona’s residential fall protection standard, but most notably that it requires very limited conventional fall protection for workers working between 6 and 15 feet. Generally, OSHA requires the use of conventional fall protection at a height of 6 feet and above.

Federal invention possible

“In discussions with Arizona officials over the past months, OSHA has indicated a strong preference for working collaboratively with Arizona to make the necessary changes to its legislation and statute so that the State Plan provides the requisite level of protection to workers, without the need for federal enforcement intervention,” according to a statement released by OSHA.

ADOSH has until April 18, 2014 to show how it will correct the outlined deficiencies or otherwise “show cause” as to why their standard is at least as effective as federal OSHA’s. Should the state fail to satisfy OSHA’s concerns, OSHA will move forward with a process that could eventually lead to the federal government taking over enforcement jurisdiction of Arizona’s construction sector.

State standards are required to be at least as effective as those enforced by federal OSHA.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction.