State Plan states Residential building

Arizona prepares for ‘expected’ rejection of state fall protection standard

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Photo: Werner Inc.

Phoenix – The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health believes OSHA will reject the state’s residential construction fall protection standard, and has scheduled free classes on complying with federal fall protection requirements.

As a State Plan state, Arizona must create standards that are “at least as effective” as federal standards. However, federal OSHA has deemed ADOSH’s residential construction standard – which requires fall protection for employees working at heights of 15 feet – less effective than the federal standard, which calls for fall protection at 6 feet. The agency is considering rescinding Arizona’s “final approval” status and enforcing federal construction standards.

Under Arizona law, if federal OSHA rejects the state’s standard, the rule would be automatically repealed and ADOSH would begin enforcing the federal standards (1926.501) for residential construction fall protection. In a newsletter emailed Oct. 29, ADOSH said such a rejection is “expected” later this year.

The upcoming classes and webinars from ADOSH are slated to take place twice a month from December through September 2015. They will cover compliance requirements found in 1926.501, also known as Subpart M.

At press time, OSHA had not announced its decision regarding ADOSH’s status.