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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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