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Bill could avert federal takeover of Arizona safety division

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has given initial approval to an amended bill legislators hope will avert a federal takeover of the state's construction safety standards division.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Arizona's fall safety standards are below standards.

The Legislature in 2012 changed Arizona's safety fall standards for residential construction projects by requiring conventional fall protection for work performed at a minimum of 15 feet. Federal standards require that minimum protection be applied for work performed at 6 feet.

The federal agency initiated proceedings against the state and has threatened to take over inspections.

An amendment by Rep. Tom Forese of Chandler to Senate Bill 1307 would revoke that 2012 legislation but only if the federal agency ultimately deems Arizona's standards inefficient.

The House gave initial approval Thursday. A full vote is still needed.

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