OSHA Cracks Down on Falls in Construction: What You Need to Know
Updated: Jun 6
Safety and knowledge are our top priorities, so we want to make sure you’re up to speed on the latest regulations that affect our industry. OSHA has just launched a new Enforcement Emphasis Program on Falls in construction, aiming to tackle the serious issue of falls, which is the leading cause of fatalities and serious injuries in our line of work. So, here’s the deal: OSHA’s Enforcement Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction kicked off on May 1. They want their inspectors to be on the lookout for anyone working at heights. It doesn’t matter if they spot you during their normal travels or while they’re on their way to other inspections – they can initiate an inspection right then and there. Why Our Industry? Now, you might be wondering, “Will they be coming after us all the time?” Well, OSHA expects most of the inspections to happen on construction sites. And to be fair, most fatal falls to lower levels occur in your industry, which is why they’re watching you. If you’re the general contractor, MNOSHA holds you accountable for maintaining a safe jobsite. You’re not off the hook just because you hire a sub. So, be prepared for all MNOSHA inspections on construction sites to follow the rules of this new program. Whether you’re in home building, remodeling, or maintenance work, MNOSHA is keeping an eye on you. So, if you’re doing rooftop mechanical work, trimming trees, cleaning gutters or chimneys, or even washing windows, you’re not off the hook. They’ve got their sights set on these activities too. How Inspections Will Go Down The goal of the Enforcement Emphasis Program is to pinpoint and inspect fall hazards. So, expect to see more surprise visits from inspectors. They’ll be popping up when they see workers on roofs or ladders, or anywhere else that could be risky. They want to catch potential dangers before they turn into accidents. Here’s the bottom line: You might think it won’t happen to you. MNCLS clients lost two workers in the past couple years to falls. It can happen to you, and if it does, it’s life-changing for everyone concerned. It’s time for all of us to double-check our safety procedures and make sure we’re doing everything we can to prevent falls. Your crews should also be trained on how to respond when a MNOSHA inspector, or anyone else the crew doesn’t know, shows up on the site. Saying or doing the wrong thing can make things worse. Take advantage of the resources provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and OSHA. Use them to create written policies and procedures for fall safety. And most importantly, enforce those rules consistently while you’re working. Let’s create a work environment where safety always comes first. Call MNCLS When MNOSHA Shows Up This is a proactive move to tackle the serious issue of falls in our line of work, so let’s stay informed, follow the regulations, and take the necessary steps to keep ourselves and our teams safe. By making safety our top priority and sticking to the rules, we can create a construction site that’s free from preventable accidents and injuries. If you have any questions to make sure you are prepared, call our team at Minnesota Construction Law Services. And when MNOSHA shows up to your jobsite, call our office immediately.