OSHA extends penalty reductions for residential fall protection violations

Washington – An OSHA enforcement policy allowing penalty reductions and greater abatement time for violations of residential construction fall protection requirements has been extended until Sept. 15.

The move, which is coupled with greater emphasis on compliance assistance activities, is intended to help residential construction employers comply with a directive, issued Dec. 16, 2010, that requires them to follow fall protection rules unless they can prove conventional methods are not feasible and they have a written plan for specific alternatives. A previous directive had allowed employers to more easily bypass the requirements.

The enforcement policy, announced last September in a memo to OSHA regional administrators and originally set to expire March 15, calls for employers following the old directive to be cited but allows a 10 percent good-faith reduction on any related penalties and at least 30 days to correct violations. The policy does not apply to violations related to a death or serious injury.

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