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OSHA postpones enforcement

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration previously announced it would begin enforcing fall protection plans for residential contractors as of Oct. 1 this year. However, on Sept. 29, Jeffry Carter, deputy commissioner of labor for Indiana OSHA, issued a memo that said federal OSHA administrators decided to push back enforcement to March 15, 2012. The memo said that employers using fall protection that met interim requirements would not be cited for violations.

The federal OSHA memo can be found on its website: http://www.osha.gov/doc/residential_fall_protection/residential_guidance.html.

Fall protection plans have long applied to commercial construction, but 2012 will be the first year that OSHA will require residential contractors to exercise the same level of caution when employees are working more than six feet above the ground.

Under OSHA regulation section 1926.502, all residential construction companies must ensure that workers are protected from falling by means of safety nets, guardrails or other safety mechanisms like harnesses. This new directive seems to be a direct response to the high number of workplace fatalities caused by falls.

Preliminary findings of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries show that 115 people died on the job in Indiana last year, 18 of whom worked in construction. Across all occupations, falls were the third most common cause of fatal workplace injury, accounting for 17 deaths. Transportation incidents and contact with objects and equipment were the most common causes of workplace fatalities.

OSHA has already given contractors the better part of a year to make sure they’re in compliance with the fall protection guidelines. In December 2010, OSHA announced that it would begin enforcing the guidelines this spring, but that date was pushed back a few times. Before the September announcement, OSHA had said Oct. 1 would be the end of the “grace period” for contractors to adapt to the new standards.

Chetrice Mosley, spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Labor, the agency that oversees the Indiana OSHA office, said IOSHA has not hired additional inspectors to enforce the revision to its regulations. Generally, she explained, IOSHA investigates a business when a complaint has already been filed; but there are times when businesses are randomly selected for inspection. In any workplace where a fatality has occurred, IOSHA investigates.

Rehearing "New OSHA guidelines" IL Sept. 14-27, 2011

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  1. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

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  4. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

  5. Mr. Foltz: Your comment that the ACLU is "one of the most wicked and evil organizations in existence today" clearly shows you have no real understanding of what the ACLU does for Americans. The fact that the state is paying out so much in legal fees to the ACLU is clear evidence the ACLU is doing something right, defending all of us from laws that are unconstitutional. The ACLU is the single largest advocacy group for the US Constitution. Every single citizen of the United States owes some level of debt to the ACLU for defending our rights.

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