As I was saying …

Damn the statistics! Full speed ahead!

News flash: The state of Arizona, which has a state-managed occupational safety and health administration, has agreed to comply with residential fall-protection rules developed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after OSHA threatened to take over enforcement of all construction regulations in the state. The reason? OSHA believes Arizona's fall-protection rules are not as "effective" as the federal rules—and that's what the law requires.

An innocent observer might ask how does one define "effective"? A rational answer might be it would be related to actual experience (such as rates of accidents and fatalities). Ah, but that would, apparently, be naïve

In 2013, there were 699 fatal injuries resulting from "falls, slips and trips" in the U.S. In Arizona, there were 11. Arizona has just more than 2 percent of the nation's population, so all things being equal, a rational person might have expected Arizona to have had 14 fatal fall-related injuries or surely more than the national average if the current regulations aren't as effective as the federal one.

NRCA has reviewed relevant statistics about fatalities resulting from falls specifically in the construction industry in states governed by the federal rules, and generally, the experiences in those states are worse than in Arizona.

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