OSHA, state safety officials, and roofing contractors are facing off over regulations in residential construction fall protection. The Wall Street Journal reports: “With a growing number of residential construction workers dying from fatal falls in recent years, the federal government has started requiring fall protection even for one- and two-story buildings as part of an initiative to address problems on residential construction sites. Last month the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration took the unprecedented step of formally proposing to take over construction workplace safety in Arizona because it said the state doesn’t require proper fall protection.” Contractors argue that harnesses and other equipment is not simply expensive, but that it also impedes some roofers accustomed to a greater range of motion. WSJ notes, “In the 1990s, the federal government passed regulations requiring most contractors to provide safety harnesses, netting, or guard rails to most construction workers working six feet or more above the ground. But OSHA had until recently granted a “temporary” exemption for residential contractors.” It is this exemption that is at issue in many states as residential construction recovers from the 2008 recession.
Read the full story from WSJ here.