New OSHA Safety Directive
Updated: Aug 30
Today the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced changes to their residential roofing regulations. OSHA now requires that all residential builders to use fall protection. Each year approximately 40 workers fall from rooftops and die; as a result OSHA decided it was necessary to change their protocol to protect these employees.
OSHA replaced the 1995 directive, which allowed residential builders to bypass the fall protection requirements due to feasibility concerns in this industry. The National Association of Home Builders and OSHA’s labor-management Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health had previously encouraged such a change in protocol, and support OSHA’s announcement. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, explained the reason for changes.
“Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction. We cannot tolerate workers getting killed in residential construction when effective means are readily available to prevent those deaths,” said Michaels. “Almost every week, we see a worker killed from falling off a residential roof. We can stop these fatalities, and we must.”
Construction and roofing companies will have six months to comply with this new directive.