May 16, 2011 -- Falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction, according to OSHA. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an average of 40 workers are killed each year as a result of falls from residential roofs.
The directive issued in December rescinded the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction. It requires all residential construction employers to comply with 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926.501(b)(13). Where residential builders can demonstrate that traditional fall protection is not feasible, it allows for alternative means of providing protection.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the directive brought by the National Roofing Construction Association. Construction and roofing companies have until June 16 to comply with the new directive.