OSHA's new guidelines requiring fall protection equipment for all construction workers working on residential roofs were upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals last week after a challenge from the National Roofing Contractors Association. Introduced in December 2010, the new guidelines are designed to prevent the roughly 40 annual deaths of construction workers caused by residential roofing falls.
“Fall protection saves lives,” said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. “There are effective means available to protect residential construction workers from falls. We applaud the court’s decision upholding this updated, commonsense directive.”
Data from the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that an average of 40 workers are killed each year as a result of falls from residential roofs. One-third of those deaths represent Latino workers, who often lack sufficient access to safety information and protections. Latino workers comprise more than one-third of all construction employees.
“Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of death in construction,” added Michaels. “These deaths are preventable, and we must prevent them.”
View the new directive here.
Submitted by Patrick McQueen