Employers Urged to Use new OSHA Document, Describing Methods to Prevent Workplace Falls in Boston and Elsewhere

Mainly aimed at new construction, a document issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aims to help employers prevent fall-related injuries and deaths on residential construction sites, according to a United States Department of Labor press release.

The precautionary document compliments the Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction directive from December 2010 by providing employers with methods they can use to help them comply with these new safety standard requirements.
Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Administrations provides these safety measures as a way to effectively prevent these work related fatalities in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States.

Our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers urge employers to read and follow this Fall Protection in Residential Construction document as it is intended to assist employers to comply with OSHA’s safety measures. As the spring season is upon us, the number of construction projects across the city will increase.

While the new directive is aimed primarily at those working on new construction, all construction workers are encouraged to become familiar with the safety procedures. The document illustrates various safety methods that employers can use during different stages of their construction plan. The methods used to prevent fall-related injuries and deaths include guardrails, ladders, anchors for personal fall arrest systems and fall restraints, safety net systems and scaffolds.

Prior to the new directive, the previous standard allowed certain employers to use alternative methods of fall protection. With the issuance of the new directive in December 2010, all residential construction employers were now instructed to now comply with 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926.501(b) (13). If residential builders conclude that traditional fall protection is not feasible within certain residential environments and is not the most effective strategy in providing safe environments to workers, than this code will also allow them to use alternative means of protection after providing a detailed document to OSHA explaining why the new methods may be ineffective on their site. OSHA has provided training and compliance assistance for employers. The agency also offers a webinar for those interested in learning more about the compliance.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was set to ensure that employers understand that they are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role in this process is to assure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing these safety standards, education workers and employers and providing proper training and assistance.

If you have been injured at work in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.

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