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Do you know your responsibilities as a General Contractor?

The Risk

Construction continues to be one of the leading industries in terms of violations and hazard exposures. This year, 44% of total inspections conducted were construction industry. Of the $58 million in federal OSHA penalties issued to construction; employers with fewer than 20 employees account for $45.6 million of the total. Of the total inspections, the residential builder is the 2nd most cited industry group in all OSHA standards. Nearly $7 million in OSHA citations have been issued to construction builders.

Residential construction is responsible for $3.7 million of total citations issued nationwide.

Industrial and commercial construction is responsible for less than $3.1 million. On October 5th, 2015, OSHA’s Atlanta Regional Office renewed its Regional Emphasis Program (REP) for construction establishments with employees exposed to fall hazards.

Under the REP, if you have workers or subcontractors exposed to fall hazards, employers will be placed into the scheduling system and chosen at random for an OSHA inspection. OSHA officials will continue to concentrate on the residential construction due to workers exposure to fall hazards.

Last year, primary contractors and subcontractors in Georgia accumulated over $4 million in OSHA penalties. Georgia Specialty Trade contractors made of 18% of the national's violations for failure to have fall protection.(1926.501) The increased rate of citations issued in the residential construction sectors supports our theory; OSHA has no intention of moving away from residential construction. We predict in the next five years, OSHA will have increased its concentration in the residential construction sector with planned monthly visits to a mass majority of residential construction job sites.*

 Residential Construction Rules


  •  Fall Protection height is 6’ above a suitable lower level. (Not a sloped roof or joists)
  •  Fall protection connections must be metal to metal.
  •  Harness systems must be checked for date of manufacture. (Usually 5 year life)
  •  Only one person allowed per anchor of 5000 lb rating.
  •  Guardrail top must be 39’’-45’’.
  •  Guardrail Midrail must be ½ the distance to the top rail.
  •  Toe kicks required on flat areas with guardrails-must be 3 ½ or larger.
  •  Stairs with 4 or more Risers must have a guardrail system.
  •  Ladders must extend 3’ past the point of access.
  •  Extension Ladders must be used at a 4:1 angle ratio.
  •  A-Frame ladders cannot be used folded up.
  •  Workers cannot stand on the top step of an A-frame ladder.
  •  Scaffold fall protection is required over 10’.
  •  Scaffolding has to comply with all rules. No 2x10 walkboards.
  •  Scaffolding needs a mudsill, manufacturer’s feet and leveling legs.
  •  Hardhats required if there is a danger of Head injury.
  •  Safety glasses required if there is a danger of any eye injury.
  •  Extension cords cannot have any damage to the outer sheath
  •  Extension cords repair with electrical tape is not permitted.
  •  Extension cords must have a factory plug with a strain relief.
  •  All saws must have the factory guard in use.
  •  Nail guns must have the safety in use.

(C) = Construction standard

Received an OSHA violation? A typical citation fine can range from no less than $1,000 - $20,000 Per violation found. Depending on the severity.

Safety is a long term investment to the overall financial health of your company and well being of its workers.

Apply today to see if your company qualifies for our OSHA citation fine reduction program.