The OSHA Residential Fall Protection Saga Continues

By: Sean T. Devenney

On September 22, 2011, Federal OSHA issued a memoranda stating that OSHA was not going to enforce full penalties for failure to comply with the implementation of the fall protection plan.  Indiana OSHA followed suit stating that the effect of the Federal OSHA September 22, 2011 memoranda was to “scale back enforcement until March 15, 2012.”  Indiana OSHA (IOSHA) issued its own guidance on September 29, 2011 stating that  IOSHA will not fine or cite employers that either meet “the interim guidelines” or are making a good faith effort to comply with the new guidelines but may have fallen short in some respect.    Rather than cite or fine the employers who fail to meet the new guidelines, IOSHA will make a referral to INSafe for consultative services.   However, employers who do nothing – meaning make no attempt at moving forward with a fall protection program will still be subject to citation and fines.

The new date for “full enforcement” in Indiana (meaning fines and citations) is set for March 15, 2012.  It appears that this is the last reprieve for those in the industry that fail to take steps to comply with the full application of the OSHA fall protection provisions in residential contracting.  To review IOSHA’s most recent memoranda on this topic click here.