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OSHA updates fall protection rules for general industry

South Carolina workers in construction and other industries have updated rules to follow to prevent falls. The regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration became effective in January 2017, and they describe when fall protection measures need to be used and when they can be deemed unnecessary.

Fall protection systems will not be legally required for work performed on roofs with low slopes and done between 6 and 15 feet from the edge if the task is relatively infrequent or temporary. This designation refers to annual maintenance and repairs. For example, someone fixing a roof-mounted air conditioner unit or cleaning a chimney might not need fall protection. Although the regulatory language does not specify a time limit for a temporary task, the agency offered some clarification by stating that jobs of no more than one to two hours fell under the designation of temporary. This is in accord with the position held by the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association.

Work exceeding temporary status activates the full fall protection regulations. People engaged in activity less than 6 feet from roof edges need protection like a guardrail, fall arrest harness or restraint system.

A worker hurt in a construction site accident might be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. However, an injury report and claim forms need to be filed within deadlines. An attorney can often be of assistance in ensuring that these deadlines are met and that the claim documents contain all applicable information. An attorney could also appear at an appeals hearing if the claim is disputed or denied.

Philpot Law Firm, PA
115 Broadus Ave.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
Fax: 864-242-1566
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