Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

October 12, 1995

Ms. Elizabeth Fletcher
501 King Court
Yreka, California 96097

Dear Ms. Fletcher:

Your recent letter to President Bill Clinton was forwarded to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for response. OSHA is responsible for issuing the set of rules that you are concerned about.

We have heard from many people about the new rules and, as a result, we have been exploring ways to make the rules less burdensome on the people they affect. Of primary concern is roofers, especially those involved in home building. Right now we are working closely with the National Roofing Contractors Association and others to see what is the appropriate thing to do with regard to the questions you have raised. As the same time, we must not forget nor overlook the fact that fall accidents are the number one cause of death in the construction industry. The purpose of the new rules is not to make a company go out of business. Rather, the purpose is to make sure workers stay alive and are unhurt doing their jobs so that they can go on making a living.

We appreciate your interest in these matters and we encourage you to stay involved with what your government is doing. We can only improve things if we know what is wrong. If you wish to know more about how OSHA is solving the problem you are concerned about, please do not hesitate to contact either Mr. Roy Gurnham or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh of my staff in the Office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8136.

Thank you for your interest in safety.


John B. Miles
Directorate of Compliance Programs