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Trade Release
Oct. 1, 2009
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA revises enforcement policies for fall protection during steel erection

WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently revised the steel erection compliance directive for the agency's Steel Erection Standard to change two enforcement policies related to tripping hazards and installation of nets or floors during steel erection.

One of the revised policies addresses the standard's requirement that employers install a floor or net within two stories or 30 feet, whichever is less.

The other policy states that employers must comply with the requirement that steel studs, known as shear connectors, be installed at the worksite. Shear connectors bind concrete to the steel.

"Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "We are intent on reducing the number of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry and believe these policy revisions will help us attain that goal."

Bureau of Labor Statistics 2007 data show that 1,204 fatalities occurred in the construction industry, 447 of which resulted from falls. The steel erection standard sets forth requirements to protect workers from the hazards associated with steel erection activities when constructing, altering, and repairing single and multi-story buildings, bridges, and other structures where steel erection occurs.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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