An appellate court has rejected a National Roofing Contractors Association challenge to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration's directive on fall protection in residential construction.

The directive, issued in December 2010, takes effect on June 16. It rescinds OSHA's 1999 guidelines, which allowed roofing and residential contractors to use “alternative” methods, such as slide guards—also called “roof brackets”—to protect workers. The new directive discards that option, except in narrow circumstances, and requires contractors to have written fall-protection plans.

In a ruling issued on April 7, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that because the OSHA directive was not a new standard, it was beyond the reach of an appeal.