Fall protection in construction: OSHA launches emphasis program in Pacific Northwest
Seattle — OSHA has launched a Regional Emphasis Program to address fall hazards in the Pacific Northwest construction industry.
Enforcement of the REP – which covers Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington – will begin after a period of outreach and education, a Nov. 2 press release from OSHA states. Enforcement activities will include “onsite inspections and evaluations of construction operations, working conditions, recordkeeping, and safety and health programs to ensure compliance.” During the outreach period, the agency will continue to respond to complaints, referrals, hospitalizations and fatalities.
Fall Protection – General Requirements topped the list of most frequently cited OSHA standards for fiscal year 2018, its eighth straight year at No. 1. Fall Protection – Training Requirements was among OSHA’s Top 10 violations in FY 2017, and was listed at No. 8 in the preliminary data released Oct. 23 at the 2018 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Houston.
“Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry,” Barbara Goto, Region 10 acting administrator and Region 9 administrator, said in the release. “This emphasis program is designed to reinforce the requirement to use fall protection systems to protect workers from serious and fatal injuries.”
OSHA also highlights its free compliance assistance for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as each state’s free On-Site Consultation Program for employers and its Fall Protection webpage.