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OSHA rejects Arizona’s residential fall protection standards

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Photo: Werner Inc.

Washington – As expected, OSHA has rejected Arizona’s fall protection standards for residential construction, meaning the state’s employers must immediately comply with federal standards.

In 2010, OSHA began requiring residential construction workers to use conventional fall protection when working at heights of 6 feet or higher. Two years later, Arizona – a State Plan state – passed a law requiring conventional fall protection when workers are 15 feet up or higher. OSHA requires all State Plan standards to be “at least as effective” as federal standards.

Separate legislation passed by Arizona lawmakers in 2014 contained a provision automatically repealing the state’s residential fall protection standards should federal OSHA reject them.

In the Feb. 6 Federal Register notice announcing the rejection, OSHA said it was deferring its decision to rescind the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s “final approval” status. The decision is delayed pending ADOSH’s enforcement of residential fall protection standards that OSHA deems at least as effective as federal standards.

ADOSH anticipated OSHA’s rejection of the state standards, and has scheduled a series of classes and webinars covering federal requirements for employers.