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June 17, 1996


Susan Martin
Workforce Dynamics, Inc
2301 NW Thurman Street
Portland OR 97210


Dear Ms. Martin:


This is in response to a FAX you sent to Leslie Anderson requesting information on OR-OSHA’s fall protection standards as related to the return to work of one of your employees.


OR-OSHA’s fall protection requirements for construction work are not related to somebody returning to work with the kind of restrictions set forth in Dr. Schader’s letter. The basic requirement is that nobody can work more than 6 feet above a lower surface without at least one method of fall protection in effect. There are some exceptions that would put the worker outside the doctor’s parameters. Our standards also allow straddle walking of beams under limited circumstances. This also appears to be against the doctor’s wishes.


In summary, our fall protection rules address the type of protection which must be provided the worker when exposed to potential fall hazards and do not address the worker’s fitness to perform a given job. The decision about returning this employee to work is one to be made by you, the doctor and your worker’s compensation carrier.


Sincerely,


Marilyn K. Schuster, Manager
Standards & Technical Resources Section
Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division


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