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• Standard Number: 1926 Subpart M

May 26, 1994

MEMORANDUM FOR:     JOHN B. MILES, JR.
                   DIRECTOR 
                   DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

FROM:               ROY F. GURNHAM, DIRECTOR 
                   OFFICE OF CONSTRUCTION AND
                   MARITIME COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE

SUBJECT:            Fall Protection Plans in New Subpart M (1926)
This is to keep you advised of a problem that will impact compliance efforts after new Subpart M--Fall Protection is published later this year (September is current target date). That Subpart contains provisions for Fall Protection Plans which allow certain employers to evaluate the construction site and determine the type of fall protection system to be used and where it is to be used. If the contractor determines that it is infeasible or would create a greater hazard to provide any system, he sets this forth in the safety plan and proceeds accordingly. For "good actors" this concept can function quite well. But there is a compliance problem with "bad actors" who use inferior plans with poor conclusions to support their intention to not provide fall protection. The standard contains no factors by which to judge the adequacy of a plan. Consequently, it will be very difficult for a compliance officer to prove that a plan contains a bad hazard analysis or that the determination of infeasibility is based on bad judgement.

My office has had several discussions with Safety Standards on this issue but no guidelines have been developed. This will also be a problem with the Safety and Health Programs standard.


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