The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new guidance on fall protection in residential construction.

Slips, trips and falls have long been the number-one hazard at work sites in general, but on this occasion OSHA is singling out residential construction for renewed emphasis.

The new policy requires employers engaged in residential construction to comply with 29 CFR part 1926.501(b)(13).

This section says that workers engaged in residential construction six feet or more above lower levels must be protected by conventional fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.

However, "if an employer can demonstrate that such fall protection is infeasible or presents a greater hazard, it may implement a fall protection plan meeting the requirements" of the new policy. Also, "the fall protection plan's alternative measures must utilize safe work practices that eliminate or reduce the possibility of a fall."

For most enclosed workplaces, Personnel Concepts offers a Slips, Trips and Falls Poster, which instructs employees on safety procedures to prevent such accidents.