California fall protection

Although federal regulations applica ble to fall protection in the roofing industry are complex, California recently amended its own fall-protection requirements. California's rules are comprehensive and apply differently depending on the type of roof system being installed.

Most roofing contractors are required to adhere to federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules even if their states are "state-plan" states—that is, states responsible for enforcing their own occupational safety and health rules. Most state-plan states incorporate federal OSHA rules into the body of worker safety rules enforced by their state agencies responsible for occupational safety and health. States under federal jurisdiction have OSHA rules enforced by a regional OSHA office.

California is a state-plan state that is active in pursuing worker health and safety issues, and California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) regulations are wide-ranging and, in many cases, more detailed than their federal counterparts. And though Cal/OSHA regulations may not apply to contractors outside California, such regulations may influence the federal rulemaking process, which makes it important for you to be familiar with them. A review of Cal/OSHA's amended fall-protection rules relating to roofing work follows.

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