OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) - Construction Safety

OSHA Resources from NAHB (4-24-14):  There have been signs that OSHA is increasing its enforcement actions on home building sites throughout the country.  The current OSHA administration has been clear for some time now that stepped-up enforcement is a top priority and it appears as if OSHA will remain as aggressive as ever under the new Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez.

There are a few simple things that your members should do to be prepared for OSHA inspections:

  • Conduct an assessment to identify and correct safety hazards on the jobsite;
  • Conduct appropriate safety training for employees;
  • Update records and make sure they are readily available; and
  • Understand the OSHA inspection process (see links below).

Builders and trade contractors should pay particular attention to the following hazards, which are the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards in 2013 (with the reference to the specific OSHA standard in parentheses):

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  4. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  6. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  7. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
  8. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  9. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)
  10. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)

NAHB has several resources to assist builders:

  • NAHB’s Construction Safety & OSHA webpage, which contains compliance assistance information here:  www.nahb.org/safety
  • Easy-to-use handbooks and videos that present key safety issues builders and workers need to focus on to reduce accidents and injuries, which can be found here:  www.builderbooks.com/safety

If members have any questions or need any additional information, NAHB can help.  Contact Rob Matuga, NAHB Labor, Safety and Health Policy at 800-368-5242 Ext. 8507.

OSHA training videos show how quickly construction workers can be injured or killed on the job (12-8-11) - intended to assist those in the industry to identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards. Twelve videos, most 2-4 minutes long, cover falls in construction, sprains and strains in construction, struck-by accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, and excavations.

Federal OSHA - Main Publications Page - Good resources to know; Fall Protection in Residential Construction - from Fed OSHA; OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign

Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors - OSHA and NIOSH (Oct 2011).

older news:

Fall Protection Rules Being Enforced - Make Sure You're in Compliance

The 90-day phase-in period giving residential construction companies additional time to come into compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's new "Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction" directive (STD 03-11-002) on fall protection ends on Sept. 15, 2011.  See OSHA Administrator's letter to NAHB explaining the June 15 to Sept 15 phase-in policy.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has posted on its website a narrated slide presentation on residential fall protection - the agency's latest tool for helping the residential construction industry comply with the requirements of its fall protection standard. The presentation describes safety methods for preventing injuries and deaths from falls, and explains techniques currently used by employers during various stages of construction.

See NAHB and OSHA Alliance, which focuses on providing the association's members and others in the residential construction industry, including non-English and limited English speaking employees and trade contractors, with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect employees' health and safety.

Cranes, derricks and hoisting equipment:

(11-10-14) OSHA extends deadline on construction crane rules (from CBIA).

See OSHA regulations related to cranes and derricks in construction; and cranes and derricks - operator qualifications and certification. In CT, crane and hoisting equipment operators must obtain a license from the Dept. of Administrative Services, Division of Construction Services - applicable to crane and hoisting equipment defined in statute at sec. 29-221: definition good through Jan. 1, 2011 (note legislation in the 2011 session proposes to signficantly reduce the size of equipment requiring an operator's license and eliminate the residential and dollar value exemptions - see examples of smaller equipment currently exempt from such hoisting equipment operator's license but that would require an operator's license under the 2011 legislation): "Sec. 29-221. ... (3) "crane" means (A) a tower crane used in construction, demolition or excavation work, (B) a hydraulic crane, (C) a power-operated derrick or (D) a mobile crane which is a mobile, carrier-mounted, power-operated hoisting machine utilizing a power-operated boom which moves laterally by rotation of the machine on the carrier and which has a manufacturers' maximum rated capacity exceeding five tons; (4) "hoisting equipment" means motorized equipment (A) used in construction, demolition or excavation work, (B) at a construction site for a project, other than a project involving residential structures of less than four stories, the estimated cost of which is more than one million two hundred fifty thousand dollars, and (C) which has a manufacturer's rated lifting capacity exceeding five tons and a manufacturer's rated maximum reach in excess of thirty-two feet; ..."

Check with your labor counsel for any updates to laws and regulations.

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