Full enforcement of fall protection directive again on hold

Washington – For the fourth time, OSHA has delayed full enforcement of its residential construction fall protection directive, giving employers until Dec. 15 to comply before imposing harsher penalties.

The directive requires employers to follow fall protection rules on residential construction projects unless they can prove conventional methods are not feasible and they have a written plan for specific alternatives. Before, residential construction employers could more easily bypass the requirements.

The directive originally went into effect June 16, 2011, but instead of full enforcement, OSHA implemented a three-month “phase-in” period during which no citations would be issued for failing to comply with the new directive, followed by a series of periods in which the agency would follow a more lenient enforcement policy when employers were not in compliance.

In an Aug. 30 announcement, OSHA said it was extending the more lenient policy, which includes reduced penalties, extended abatement dates and priority onsite compliance assistance.

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