Since the beginning of the year, OSHA has had a pretty hard time enforcing any of its new rules due to delays. The silica dust exposure rule was delayed 90 to September 23, the crane certification rule is facing yet another possible delay, and now the electronic injury reporting rule is facing another delay. Last week, OSHA announced their proposal to delay the enforcement of the reporting rule from July 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017.
Originally proposed on May 12, 2016, the electronic injury reporting rule immediately sparked controversy among construction industry groups. Several changes and clarifications to the rule can be directly attributed to the push from the industry groups, including the Associated General Contractors of America.
In May of this year, we reported that OSHA’s recordkeeping website added this note: “OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A electronically.” At that time, it was unknown how long the delay in the enforcement would be.
In the announcement of the most recent delay. OSHA stated that the delay will “allow OSHA an opportunity to further review and consider the rule” and that it is “appropriate for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy.”
OSHA is also requesting comments from the public on the rule, which are due by July 13, 2017. To do so, you can submit electronically at www.regulations.gov, submit by mail, or find a time machine, go back to 1995 and fax your comments in.
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Last week, we shared some newly updated Trenching and Excavation safety information from OSHA, which was part of their priority goals for 2018. Those updates included a public service announcement and updated online resources. The administration has just announced the update of their National Emphasis Program (NEP) on trenching and excavation safety, which features a period of education and prevention outreach.
Earlier this year, it was announced that reducing injuries and deaths caused by trenching and excavation collapses would be a priority goal for OSHA in 2018. The administration planned to achieve this through increased inspection rates, public service announcements (PSA), updating online resources, and creating a better public-private partnership. Recently, OSHA made good on their promise to issue PSAs and update their online resources.
In a time where many industry groups are strongly fighting against new regulations of any kind, more than 130 organizations have co-signed a petition for OSHA to establish a national standard for heat protection across many industries.
As other organizations, like the NTSB, are busy analyzing the root cause of the pedestrian bridge collapse that killed 6 people and injured 8 others in Florida in March, OSHA has finished their investigation and issued safety violations to 5 different contractors.
OSHA had to fight hard to finally get its relatively new crystalline silica dust exposure regulations passed, and, once it did, the agency wasted no time enforcing the law. In the regulations first 6 months, OSHA issued 116 violations, but the highest penalty at that point was $9,239. More recently, the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Compliance Division (VOSH) has possibly issued a record citation to a highway contractor, a whopping $304,130 penalty.
Falls from height are the leading cause of fatalities on construction sites by a long shot, as the account for around 40% of deaths. Fall protection training in the classroom can often fall short, because hearing words and learning definitions about fall prevention may not have the same effect as seeing and interacting with fall prevention techniques.
On Monday morning, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that was being prepped for demolition suddenly collapsed, injuring one Project Manager that was struck by debris.