As I was saying …

OSHA's win is safety's loss

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Chicago, dismissed NRCA's petition for review of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) new fall-protection standard, concluding OSHA acted within its discretionary authority when it rescinded a "temporary rule" negotiated in 1995.

This means contractors now will have to provide safety nets, guardrails or personal fall-arrest systems for any project where the roof slope is 4:12 (18 degrees) or greater and potential for falls is 6 feet or greater (with exceptions allowed in limited circumstances).

Recently, I've had the opportunity to meet with numerous residential roofing contractors and have yet to find one who ever has used a safety net for a residential project. And only a small handful have used guardrails, so the effect of the new rule—which will be enforced beginning June 16—is we'll be tying off our workers.

There are, unfortunately, two other effects of the new rule.