Prevention of Residential Construction Falls is OSHA Priority

In order to help keep construction workers safe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been working with members of the construction industry to prevent falls — a safety issue that is a leading cause of workplace fatalities.

"Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction," said Dr. David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in a statement. "We cannot tolerate workers getting killed in residential construction when effective means are readily available to prevent those deaths."

To prevent these Connecticut construction accidents on residential construction sites the agency is implementing new safety standards that will go into effect later this year. Residential construction sites are defined by OSHA as "structures where the working environment, and the construction materials, methods, and procedures employed are essentially the same as those used for typical house (single-family dwelling) and townhouse construction."

New Safety Standards For Residential Contractors

In these new guidelines, employers are required to adopt safety measures, such as adding:

  • Guardrail systems
  • Personal fall arrest systems
  • Safety net systems

The new systems will need to be in place to protect employees from fatal injuries when they are working at least 6 feet above the ground.

OSHA's new standards were originally scheduled to go into effect on March 15, 2012. However, the agency has extended the deadline for six months in order to give construction companies an opportunity to make the necessary improvements.

During this grace period, OSHA will work conduct outreach sessions with employers around the country so that they understand the new requirements. Consultations will be available for companies who need more information on how to bring building sites into compliance. Educational materials are also available on OSHA's website.

Safety advocates see the extension of these measures to residential construction sites as a positive change that will hopefully reduce the number of construction site accidents.

If you are injured in a construction site accident after a fall from a ladder, scaffolding, a roof or another elevated position, contact a skilled New Haven workers' compensation attorney.