Archives: Construction Industry

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OSHA Reminds Employers of Duty to Protect Employees from Heat Exposure

The arrival of the hot summer season brings the risks and dangers of heat exposure for many employees throughout the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a reminder to employers of their duty to protect employees, along with some guidance on ways to recognize and mitigate the risks of heat … Continue Reading

OSHA Does Not Back Employee Work Refusals in All Circumstances

Since March 2020, workers have expressed elevated concerns about their exposure to COVID-19 on construction sites. As states lift restrictions on construction work, employers should note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limits workers’ ability to refuse work.   To read the full article, click here.… Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance on Prevention of COVID-19 Cases at Construction Sites

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance for construction industry employers to prevent spread of COVID-19. In addition to measures the agency suggests for all employers, the guidance includes a variety of preventive measures at construction sites, such as: Using Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label … Continue Reading

OSHA Expands Guidance on Respirator Fit-Testing to Cover all Industries

Due to the evolving coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic and emergence of outbreaks across the country, there have been widespread reports of critical shortages of personal protective equipment (“PPE”), such as masks, face shields, and gowns. OSHA previously issued guidance, including an April 3, 2020 memorandum and interim guidance and a March 14, 2020 enforcement memorandum, which alleviated some … Continue Reading

Los Angeles, New York Impose New Construction Requirements and Restrictions Due to COVID-19

While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and some states have offered guidance to prevent employee exposure to COVID-19, Los Angeles, the state of New York, and New York City are enforcing more restrictive measures for construction sites. Based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Los Angeles … Continue Reading

Construction Industry Coronavirus Guidance from NYC and OSHA

Construction workers received guidance on best practices in preventing the spread of novel coronavirus from New York City. The city has recognized that ordinary practices at construction sites – shared tools, huddled shift meetings and packed schedules with varied trade contractors – can present unique dangers at construction sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration … Continue Reading

OSHA Proposes Revisions to Final Beryllium Standards for Construction and Shipyards

On September 30, 2019, OSHA issued a final rule for Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in Construction and Shipyards.  Rather than revoke the ancillary provisions for these two industries as anticipated, OSHA  “determined that there is not complete overlap in protections between the standards’ ancillary provisions and other OSHA standards.” OSHA  delayed the … Continue Reading

OSHA Recommends Best Practices to Prevent Whistleblower Retaliation

You might be surprised to learn that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces 22 different whistleblower protection laws. This includes laws governing workplace safety and health at construction, manufacturing, energy generation or distribution and other worksites. It also includes a broad array of laws that regulate hazards and prohibited activities specific to airlines, … Continue Reading

OSHA Finalizes Beryllium Standards for Construction and Shipyard Industries

In January 2017, as a departing gift from the Obama administration, OSHA issued a final rule with three separate standards regulating occupational exposures to beryllium in general industry, construction and shipyards. And, contrary to industry expectations and data in the rulemaking record, OSHA broadened the coverage of the construction and shipyard standards. The three standards … Continue Reading

OSHA Approves New Quantitative Fit Testing Protocols

Pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 1910.134(f) employees are required to be fit tested prior to wearing tight-fitting respirators and the fit test administered must be using an OSHA-accepted fit test protocol.  Appendix A to § 1910.134 outlines the procedures employers are required to use for fit testing and apply to all OSHA-accepted fit test methods, … Continue Reading

ACCSH September Meeting to Address Proposed Rule for Beryllium in Construction

Last May OSHA began enforcing various provisions of the agency’s requirements of the beryllium standard.  Since then, for the construction and shipyard industries, only the permissible exposure limits and short term exposure limit are being enforced until OSHA undertakes additional rulemaking for those industries. It appears OSHA is taking steps toward rulemaking and has announced that … Continue Reading

OSHA Takes Steps to Revise Silica Standard for Construction

On July 29th OSHA submitted a draft Request for Information (RFI) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding Table 1 in OSHA’s construction standard for silica. If approved by OMB, OSHA intends to issue the RFI in the Federal Register to determine if revisions to Table 1 may be appropriate. On March 25, … Continue Reading

OSHA Requests Information for Use of Powered Industrial Trucks in Maritime, Construction and General Industry

On March 11, 2019, OSHA issued a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register seeking comments and information from stakeholders regarding the use of powered industrial trucks (PITs) for maritime (1915.120, 1917.43, 1918.65) construction, (1926.602(c), (d)), and general industries (1910.178). OSHA is considering revising current standards regarding powered industrial trucks and this information will … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance for Crane Operator Certification Requirements

On February 7, 2019  the Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualifications final rule became effective, requiring employers using cranes in the construction industry to document their evaluation of their crane operators.  That same day OSHA issued temporary enforcement guidance indicating that while it will still enforce the requirement that employers evaluate their operators before allowing them to … Continue Reading

The Hidden Costs of an OSHA Citation

Congress took employers by surprise when it increased Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) penalties nearly 80 percent in 2016. Today, a Serious violation can fetch a maximum penalty of $13,260, and a Willful or Repeat violation can cost up to $132,598. Citations often include multiple items, which can multiply these figures. When construction companies … Continue Reading

Years in the Making…OSHA Finalizes Crane Operator Requirements for Construction Industry

Roughly eight years after the original promulgation of the final standard 29 CFR part 1926, Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction, OSHA finally revises the requirements for operator certification. In August 2010 OSHA issued the final cranes and derricks in construction standard. As part of that standard, crane operators were required to either be certified … Continue Reading

OSHA Seeks ACCSH Nominations

OSHA is seeking nominations for new members for the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (“ACCSH”).  ACCSH is an advisory committee that provides OSHA guidance and input on the promulgation of standards in the construction industry. The Assistant Secretary appoints a total of fifteen members representing various stakeholders in the construction industry.  The members appointed will represent … Continue Reading

OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction FAQs

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a set of 53 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide guidance to employers and employees regarding OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica standard for construction. The standard requires employers to limit worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica and to take other steps to protect workers. The FAQs are … Continue Reading

OSHA Proposes Limited Extension of the Compliance Dates for Beryllium

On May 11th OSHA began enforcement of certain requirements of the beryllium standard.  For generally industry, construction and shipyards this included the permissible exposure limits.  Further, in general industry enforcement began for the requirements of an exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance and medical removal. While OSHA began enforcement of some of the these requirements it had previously … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Crane Operator Certification – Shifting the Original Intent of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

In August 2010 OSHA issued the final cranes and derricks in construction standard, 1926 – Subpart CC. As part of that standard, crane operators were required to either be certified or qualified (depending on the option elected by an employer) by November 10, 2014. 29 C.F.R. § 1926.1427(k).  On February 10, 2014, OSHA proposed a … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Takes Aim at Obama-era Beryllium Standard

On January 9, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule adopting a comprehensive standard for exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds – a separate standard was promulgated for general industry, construction and shipyards. On May 4, 2018, OSHA issued a Direct Final Rule (DFR) regarding the beryllium standard for general industry.  … Continue Reading

OSHA’s National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction – May 7-11, 2018

Today marks the first day of OSHA’s 5th annual National Stand-Down.  The week-long event aims to focus attention on  the fact that “Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 (BLS data).”  The Safety Stand-Down … Continue Reading

Review Commission Requests Outside Comments From Interested Parties To Evaluate Workplace Heat Stress Case

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) is reviewing OSHA’s use of the general duty clause to issue citations against employers for heat-related hazards that are likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to employees. OSHRC accepted for review the case of Secretary of Labor, Department of Labor vs. A.H. Sturgill Roofing, Inc. … Continue Reading

OSHA Appeals Decision Invalidating its Multi-Employer Citation Policy

Although the Department of Labor under new Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has indicated that it will be scaling back on the broad interpretation of joint employer for purposes of determining enforcement liability, on November 6, 2017, OSHA filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit seeking to preserve the agency’s … Continue Reading
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