OSHA has long used the language in the OSH act to find and hold multiple employers accountable for the actions of another on construction job sites. For decades, OSHA would not only cite the employer whose employees were exposed to hazards, but would also cite the employer who was designated the “controlling employer” on-site, which is most often the general contractor.
According to JD Supra, a recent court ruling in Texas has taken away that authority from OSHA in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. In Acosta v. Hansel Phelps Construction Co., an administrative law judge ruled against OSHA, arguing that the multi-employer doctrine was invalid in the 5th Circuit, since a previous precedent had already been established in a different case. The 5th Circuit covers the three states mentioned above.
In the specific case mentioned above, OSHA cited both a subcontractor and the general contractor for exposing employees to an excavation cave-in hazard, but none of the general contractors employees were exposed to the hazard.
In order to preserve that authority and avoid federal judges being split on their rulings in the future, OSHA has filed for an appeal with the 5th Circuit. The administration argues that the case used as precedent did not involve OSHA, but instead an instance of negligence. JD Supra suggests that employers shouldn’t take OSHA lightly, as they expect them to “vigorously defend and enforce its multi-employer” doctrine.
Full story: OSHA Appeals Decision Invalidating Its Multi-Employer Citation Policy | JD Supra
As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.
For the past 3 years, Seattle, Washington has had the most construction cranes out of any United States city. But, as we know, from various videos and news stories, a crane collapse can have absolutely devastating consequences. On Saturday, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle onto an open road below, killing two construction workers, 2 pedestrians, and injuring several others in the process.
All trench collapse deaths are preventable. As soon as everyone on a job site starts believing that we might actually make some progress. In just the past 10 days, there have been 4 trench collapse deaths across 3 separate incidents, further highlighting how far we still need to go.
Falls on the jobsite is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction. Keeping up with housekeeping on your site is a great way to reduce risks of falls, but other protections, like rebar caps should be installed when rebar is exposed. A young construction worker recently found out the hard way what happens when rebar is left exposed.
On April 3, a congressional appropriations hearing was held to discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s Federal funding for fiscal year 2020. During the hearing, the secretary of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta, told the committee how OSHA plans to spend their budget and how the agency fared in the previous year.
Safety training in the construction industry is necessary to build worker awareness – not to mention that it’s legally required – but it can be extremely time consuming and expensive to have completed. There are many companies out there looking to make money off of keeping workers safe, which is why it’s great when a company offers training free of charge, like Procore’s Safety Qualified program.
Cranes collapsing on-site are serious business, especially since many of them resulted in the loss of life. A recent crane collapse on a construction site in Alpharetta, GA was caught on camera after it caught fire, but luckily no one was injured.
There are a lot of different specialty construction contracting sectors within the industry and cruise ships are definitely one of them. There are plenty of unique challenges when dealing with a moving ship versus a static building. A recent accident highlighted the challenges when a crane collapsed on a cruise ship under renovations, injuring 8 people.