Changes in OSHA Fall Protection Requirements in Residential Construction
Historically, OSHA has not required fall protection in residential construction because doing so was too difficult and infeasible. In September of 2011, OSHA changed the rules regarding fall protection requirements so that residential contractors must use tie-offs or fall protection for work over six feet above grade. Contractors can use methods to satisfy this requirement; including using a guardrail system, safety net system, personal fall arrest system, and other OSHA approved methods. Alternatively, residential contractors may use a site specific fall protection plan if the contractor can demonstrate that fall protection is infeasible or makes the work more hazardous. OSHA has published additional information that may be helpful in understanding and complying with these requirements.