Since the Obama administration took office, it has been
challenging for the roofing industry to work with the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). At NRCA's request, the association's staff
and member leaders have met with OSHA several times to address the
issues that concern roofing professionals, mainly the agency's
revised residential fall-protection standard. But OSHA has not
backed away from its positions, including allowing slide guards to
be used as an option for fall protection on steep-slope roofs.
However, the discussions have not proved entirely fruitless. On
Dec. 11, 2012, four days before OSHA's temporary enforcement
measures for residential fall protection were set to expire, the
agency extended the expiration date yet again—until March 15.
The temporary measures include priority, free on-site compliance
assistance; penalty reductions; and extended abatement dates.
"We see this as a positive sign OSHA is willing to continue to
discuss the matter and learn why the roofing industry is so
concerned that the agency's current one-size-fits-all approach will
actually be detrimental to safety," says Tom Shanahan, NRCA's associate executive director of
The extension merely delays full enforcement, so you still need
to comply with the standard and make sure your workers are trained.
An updated explanation of the standard and training materials can
be found in NRCA's new DVD
up Safety: A Recipe for Avoiding...
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