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OSHA’s New Standard Clarifies the Key Residential Safety Regulations

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Recently, OSHA was commended for its efforts by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders). OSHA has made a decision of withdrawing the interim fall protection guidelines for all residential construction projects that were issued in 1995 and has now decided to revert back to the previous guidelines.

Safety at the job site should be the number one concern for builders anywhere. This action taken by OSHA will clarify what builders need to do in order to comply with the OSHA standards and regulations, in an effort to keep the work sites safe.

The interim guideline, which was originally intended to be a temporary policy, was first brought about in 1995 in order to allow all employers to use alternative methods of fall protection without having to provide any specific written fall protection plan or to prove that the fall protection systems were not feasible. Before 1995, OSHA had made it compulsory for builders to provide specific fall protection systems for all workers involved in residential construction projects or if they were working 6 feet or more above ground. If an employer thought that using these conventional fall protection systems was not feasible or would pose as a greater hazard, then the employer would have to provide a better plan suggesting better alternatives for fall protection. OSHA’s new standard has now eliminated the interim guideline and has reverted back to the pre-1995 standard.