The Answer to a Difficult Question – Residential Fall Protection

The Answer to a Difficult Question – Residential Fall Protection

Fall Protection in residential construction has been a hot topic recently; especially since Federal OSHA mandated that all workers in the residential construction industry must be protected from falls greater than 6 feet.  The contention that is heard more often than not from builders and sub-contractors is that protecting a worker from falls during particular stages in construction (framing is most quoted stage) is “Infeasible” due to the lack of structure of the building and that any safety measures required would be cost prohibitive in addition to being more dangerous than doing without.  I pose that recent technology has surpassed that argument.

Builders and Sub-Contractors should realize that “Yes” there would be an increase in cost to provide fall protection for their workers.  But the cost is minimal compared to the overall cost of production for a single family home.  It is about $300 to $750 per house depending on the size.  In regards to larger projects (Infill retail and condo projects and traditional apartment homes) it is hard to define a cost but still well below any meaningful cost in respect to the project.Safety_Pole_092613_0177

The Answer:  The Safety Pole Fall Protection System.  The Safety Pole Fall Protection System was designed by a high volume framer in California when CAL OSHA instituted a fall protection rule for residential construction years before Federal OSHA rescinded the Alternative Fall Protection for residential construction.  When the designer of the Safety Pole could not find an adequate system on the market for his employees, he went out and designed one himself.  The Safety Pole System allowed his workers to complete the work the way they always had (walking the top plate), it was designed to be temporary and easy to move from job to job, it needed to be cost effective, OSHA and ANZI compliant as well as it needed to work! Since then the Safety Pole system has been re-designed to be even easier to move from job to job, it has also been configured to be used on multiple different sized and shaped projects.

Any builder or sub-contractor willing to increase their cost to build by what is equivalent to the cost of a kitchen sink can have a fall protection system that not only works in saving lives and injuries but would protect their company from unnecessary and damaging lawsuits.  Not to mention the savings from OSHA fines and much reduced worker compensation claims.

Paul Cracknell, Fall Protection Specialist