The Trump administration recently released its Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and, contained within it, is a series of regulations that federal agencies plan to either amend or eliminate.
The website summary of the agenda reads: “By amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the Administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty.” Each agency, it says, is responsible for ensuring that the benefits of any regulations they propose or want to keep justify the costs.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), who has been a leader in the realm of pushing back against new regulations for the construction industry, has released a summary of the regulatory actions that construction companies can expect to see from the government over the next 6 months, which include:
- U.S. Department of Labor
- Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
- Finalizing a rule which would allow more employers to form associated health plans.
- Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
- Proposed rule entitled Apprenticeship Programs, Labor Standards for Registration, Amendment of Regulations, which would allow third parties to certify apprenticeship programs.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Plans to issue a proposal to “reconsider, revise or remove provisions of Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, also known as the Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule in July 2018”
- Plan to seek public feedback on the silica dust regulations that went into effect in 2017.
- Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
- Proposed rule to revise 2016’s final overtime rule.
- Proposed rule to expand apprenticeship and employment opportunities to 16 and 17 year olds.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Plans to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule, aka the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) final rule.
For more information on the deregulatory plans, visit ABC’s website by clicking here.
Traditional safety training for construction workers includes OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour courses, toolbox talks, and safety inspections. Those training techniques are all important and necessary, but construction workers are an extremely hands-on group of individuals and putting them in real life situations can be much more beneficial to them instead of classroom training.
Ladders are one of the most widely used and necessary pieces of equipment on a construction jobsite. They’re also one of the most misused and abused pieces of equipment on a jobsite. In addition to being one of the most frequently cited OSHA violations each year, it also accounts for too many of the industry’s yearly fatalities and countless injuries.
Falls continue to be the number one leading cause of death on construction sites across the country, accounting for around 40% each year. Even if you can convince your construction crew to wear personal fall arrest systems each time they’re required, proper training is required to select the correct type of fall protection and the anchor points, as well as performing proper inspections of the equipment. An app called Harness Hero is trying to help solve the latter problem.
Even though OSHA recently eliminated the need for employers to electronically submit OSHA Forms 300 and 301, citing privacy concerns, companies are still responsible for submitting OSHA Form 300A – and the deadline is fast approaching.
Multi-employer worksites are extremely common in the construction industry, but they can still make work extremely complicated. One of those complications results when a subcontractor receives a governmental violation, such as an OSHA violation. As a controlling employer on the site, can a general contractor be held responsible for safety hazards of a subcontractor? One court says yes.
After an abundance of delays on rule that would require crane operators to be formally qualified to operate, OSHA finally landed on an effective date of February 7, 2019. After receiving feedback from industry partners, OSHA has decided to delay enforcement for 60 days for contractors who make a “good faith effort” to comply.
As has been expected for a few months now, OSHA has officially removed the requirement for large companies with 250 or more employees to submit OSHA Forms 300 and 301. The administration cited privacy concerns as the reason for the change.
Be careful - owners and contractors are now being held criminally liable for their carelessness and disregard of safety protocols.
Since the 2016 Federal budget was passed, OSHA has increased their maximum citation penalty amount to adjust for inflation on a yearly basis. The 2019 increase has recently been announced.