Did you know that 40 construction workers, on average, are killed each year by falls from residential roofs? (U.S. Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics). In fact, this type of fall is the number one cause of construction workplace deaths.
With residential falls being this common, it’s no surprise that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has mandated that residential builders must follow strict fall protection requirements. By following these safety guidelines, not only will you protect your workers, you’ll also save a great deal of money on elevated insurance premiums.
Who Must Provide Fall Protection?
Every employer engaged in residential construction must provide fall protection for its workers if they are working more than 6 feet off the ground.
What Qualifies as Residential Construction?
- The intended final use of the structure being built is a home or dwelling.
- Traditional wood frame construction materials and methods are used. (The use of limited structural steel does not exempt a structure from being considered residential construction).
What Is Required?
All employers must comply with OSHA regulations for fall protection systems. This means that if an employee is working 6 feet or more above lower levels must have:
- Safety nets and guard rails, or
- Personal fall arrest systems, such as a full body harness with a deceleration device and a rigged lanyard.
Other types of construction work have different OSHA specifications for fall protection measures
What If I Can’t Meet These Requirements?
If the conventional fall protection measures outlined by OSHA are not possible or create more hazards, an employer must provide a written fall protection plan that outlines site-specific reasons why traditional fall protection methods aren’t feasible and why they would create a greater hazard.
At ERM, we work with you to create a comprehensive risk management program to protect your business and your employees.
For more information, give us a call at (949) 222-0444!