Thursday, January 5, 2017

Oregon Lowers Height Limit for Worker Fall Protection

If you think OSHA regulations are tough when it comes to fall protection on job sites, just wait till you see what Oregon’s OSHA has just put on the books.

Oregon construction contractors must ensure workers are protected from falls if work is done six or more feet above a surface, under a new state regulation that took effect Jan. 1.

The previous regulation from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division required protections for construction workers if they worked at heights of 10 or more feet.

The new rule would mostly affect home builders, because many large commercial contractors already require fall protection at six feet, according to the state agency.

Also, slide guards, which are commonly used by roofing contractors, will no longer be allowed as a way to prevent workers from falling off sloped roofs, the agency said. Slide guards are horizontal strips of lumber that are temporarily attached to a roof. That change will take place on Oct. 1. Other equipment is available to meet the new rule, including “fall arrest” or “restraint” devices, OSHA said.

OSHA said it found 289 violations of fall-protection rules. Of those, 221 were deemed serious, and 68 were repeat violations, with initial penalties totaling $603,010, the agency said.

If someone does fall off a 6’ ladder, will Oregon OSHA assume they were standing on the very top and fell? And not only will the roofing or siding subcontractor be fined, so will the GC.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have followed Blu Homes with great interest. I have recently heard that Kaitlen has resigned but the company has yet to announce it. Any interest in covering it?