Fall Protection Trigger Height Update

The 6′ trigger height for fall protection requirements will take a few years:  The advisory committee working on the Cal/OSHA vs. Federal OHSA Fall Protection Trigger Height had a follow up meeting April 7.  We thank the Cal-OSHA Reporter for this summary of the meeting (www.cal-osha.com).  As a reminder, the Feds are requiring California adopt an across-the-board 6’ trigger height for fall protection.  Click here for the Cal/OSHA Federal Fall Protection web page.

  • It will be late 2016 before the new Cal/OSHA draft fall protection regulation is out for public comment. Expect public comment meetings to go deep into 2017.
  • Contractors are asking for an 18-month implementation schedule. Assuming that is granted, the rule won’t take place until 2018.
  • Rules will be drafted in two phases – residential first and non-residential second.
  • California contractors, represented by many trade associations, have documentation that the trigger heights worked out with industry and Cal/OSHA almost 15 years ago are safer than the Federal one-size-fits-all of 6’. One key reason is California does not allow Fall Protection Plans and the Feds do. Over the next months (and years), the industry will work with Cal/OSHA and Fed OSHA to be sure that even if we have to follow the Feds, workers will be as safe as they are under the current program.

We extend our deep thanks to the contractor’s associations and representatives who have worked very hard on this issue.  Their facts and figures, and knowledge of the realities of construction safe practices, have been impressive and professional.  If you get a chance, thank the people who volunteered to work on the Fall Protection Advisory Committee (click here).

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