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• Standard Number: 1926.502(k)


September 26, 1995

MEMORANDUM FOR: MICHAEL G. CONNERS, Regional Administrator
Chicago Regional Office

THROUGH: JOHN B. MILES, JR., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

FROM: ROY F. GURNHAM, Director
Office of Construction and
Maritime Compliance Assistance

SUBJECT: Fall Protection


Enclosed is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's response to your memorandum of March 28 concerning several questions relating to fall protection based on discussions with Regina Solomon with the National Association of Home Builders. Because of a large backlog of correspondence, this office was not able to respond to you as quickly as we would have liked. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this delay may have caused.



September 26, 1995


MEMORANDUM FOR: MICHAEL G. CONNERS, Regional Administrator
Chicago, Regional Office

THROUGH: John B. Miles, JR., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

FROM: ROY F. GURNHAM, Director
Office of Construction and
Maritime Compliance Assistance

SUBJECT: Fall Protection


This is in response to your March 28 memorandum in which you raised several questions relating to fall protection based on discussions with Regina Solomon with the National Association of Home Builders.

You inquired as to whether employees erecting roof trusses are allowed to walk the top sill without using fall protection, provided they are working between already erected and braced trusses. Yes, this procedure is allowed for interior wall sills provided the company's fall protection plan discusses how to perform this procedure and all safety precautions to be taken.

You also asked if employees erecting second floor walls can utilize a fall protection plan in lieu of conventional fall protection systems. Yes, it is permissible to use a fall protection plan for the operation of erecting second floor walls.

In addition, you asked if one fall protection site plan can cover different model homes under construction on a large development, and, if a contractor is building the same model home at different locations, can one site plan cover all locations. The answer is yes to both questions. Fall protection plans need to be site specific only to the extent that they address the fall hazards present at that site. One plan can cover several sites if similar conditions exist at all sites.

If you have any questions, please call me or Dale Cavanaugh of my staff at (202)219-8136.



March 28, 1995


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

ATTENTION: ROY F. GURNHAM, P.E., J.D.
DIRECTOR
OFFICE OF CONSTRUCTION AND MARITIME
COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE

FROM: MICHAEL G. CONNORS
REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

SUBJECT: FALL PROTECTION


At our invitation, Ms. Regina Solomon, Assistant Director for Labor, Safety and Health, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), attended our recent Region V Area Directors' Meeting to brief us on NAHB concerns with regard to the implementation/enforcement of Subpart M.

During her presentation and the subsequent question and answer session several issues were raised for which we are seeking clarification to help insure consistency across our region and/or the nation. Ms. Solomon indicated to us that as a result of a meeting between the NAHB and several National Office personnel (Jim Stanley? Bruce Swanson? Roy Gurnham?) it was her understanding that OSHA had agreed to the following:

* During residential construction, contractors erecting roof trusses will be allowed to implement a plan which will allow for the walking of the top sill, provided they are working from between already erected and braced trusses, i.e., no fall protection (other than personal awareness) required.

* During residential construction, contractors erecting second floor walls will be allowed to implement a plan which will not require the use of conventional fall protection systems, e.g., guardrails, for the protection of the employees so occupied.

In conjunction with the above issues, the question also arose as to the definition of "site" in terms of plan coverage. While we recognize that it can be as small as a single unit, can a site plan encompass an entire development under construction? Would there have to be at least as many site plans as there are different model homes under construction on a large development? If the contractor is building the same model(s) at different developments in a certain locale (city? county?) can a site plan cover all locations?

Because we are fast approaching our busy time of year for residential construction inspections in the Midwest, we would appreciate a response as soon as possible so as to avoid potentially embarrassing confrontations with the NAHB over these matters. If you or any members of your staff have any questions or require further clarification please contact Mr. William Wiehrdt of my staff at 312-353-5977.



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