September 15th, 2012 is when it officially goes into effect. We’re talking, of course, about the rescinding of STD 03-11-002 that allowed residential constructions to essentially “get away with” not following the 29CFR 1926.501(b) (13). Essentially what this means is that effective September 15th, 2012 OSHA can and will start citing and fining companies whose workers are more than six feet off the ground and aren’t protected from falls.
There are several options for residential fall protection including rails, nets and/or personal fall arrest systems. Many workers are going to have to adapt as so many of them have been roofing for years with no fall protection at all.
Fortunately, personal fall protection has changed quite a bit in the past few years and compliance, although somewhat inconvenient isn’t going to be hard or expensive.
Many fall protection manufacturers make residential fall protection simple with kits that contain everything necessary. These roofing kits contain the anchor point, the harness and the rope or lanyard necessary for the ABC of fall protection (If you are unfamiliar with the ABCs of fall protection, view and download our guide to fall protection).
Additionally, the past few years have brought personal fall arresters like the Scorpion from Miller, the Talon from Capital Safety or the Rebel from Protecta that are lightweight, easy to use and that keep the roofer from tripping over his lanyard.
Either way, there are no more excuses and OSHA is going to start spending more and more time looking around residential home construction sites to make sure 2013 sees a substantial decrease in fatalities and injuries stemming from falls.
If you need help getting compliant, give us a call (1-800-213-7092) and we’ll be glad to help.