January 22, 2013

FEDOSHA calls for Arizona to Follow Federal Fall Protection Policy

FEDOSHA is demanding that the Arizona State Plan (“ADOSH”) follow federal policy regarding fall protection.  In some circles, this has been seen as a signal that FEDOSHA will more strictly construe and enforce its “at least as effective” measure of state programs in the second Obama term.  The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) filed a formal “Complaint About State Program Administration” (aka “CASPA”) with FEDOSHA after Arizona state lawmakers adopted statutory language setting Arizona’s fall protection requirement at 15 feet.  FEDOSHA requires conventional fall protection at 6 feet with some limited exceptions.  FEDOSHA has stated that to be “as effective as” the federal program, ADOSH must implement the federal policy. If ADOSH does not, FEDOSHA apparently has threatened to trigger the process for assuming jurisdiction over setting standards and enforcement of fall protection in residential construction in Arizona.  With Arizona’s propensity to go its own way on a variety of issues,  the outcome over this dispute is unclear at this point.

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