Fall-protection guidelines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces a wide range of fall-protection rules for roofing workers. Approved methods of fall protection for residential roofing work were published in 1995 as an alternative to OSHA's fall-protection standard. Residential contractors should be familiar with the alternative rules. This article will review fall-protection rules, which can be found on


OSHA's residential rules allow safety monitors and slide guards on roof systems with an eave height of up to 25 feet (8 m) and slopes up to 8-in-12 (34 degrees). Following are the specifics:

  • For a roof slope up to 4-in-12 (18 degrees), a roofing contractor must use a safety-monitoring system that complies with OSHA CFR 1926.502 or roofing slide guards.

  • If a roof slope is greater than 4-in-12 (18 degrees) and up to 8-in-12 (34 degrees), slide guards are required.

  • For tile or metal roof systems with roof slopes up to and including 8-in-12 (34 degrees), a safety-monitoring system may be used as the sole fall-protection method instead of slide guards.