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.
At the National Safety Council Congress & Expo on October 23, 2018, OSHA’s deputy director of Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced their 10 most frequesntly cited safety violations for their fiscal year 2018.
On March 15, 2018, 6 people were killed and 8 others were injured when an under construction pedestrian bridge collapsed in Florida. Several months later, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released their preliminary report while conducting an official investigation. The NTSB later issued an “Investigative Update” to their preliminary report in August. In Mid-November, the NTSB released a 2nd investigative update, narrowing their root cause theories.
The City of New York is getting serious about construction regulation and using the full extent of the law to punish those who have acted negligently on the jobsite. Last year, Mayor Bill De Blasio issued a new law requiring all construction workers to undergo, at minimum, 40 hours of safety training. In 2016, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. successfully convicted a construction foreman of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment after a laborer was killed in a trench collapse that he was overseeing. Earlier this month, DA Vance announced assault charges against a superintendent and branch manager after 2 men suffer horrific injuries on their jobsite.
The long delayed rule for crane operator certification has new life as OSHA has issued yet another final rule, after making alterations and clarifications. OSHA originally planned to require all crane operators to obtain certifications in 2010, but it has been delayed several times since then. A different final rule was proposed in 2017, but it was announced in May of 2018 that the administration intended to alter the rule.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of 3 different drills manufactured by Black & Decker due to safety concerns.
Just over a year ago, in September of 2017, Hurricane Irma blew through Miami, Florida, bringing extremely high speed wind with it. The wind caused 3 cranes to collapse in southern Florida, 2 in downtown Miami and 1 more in Ft. Lauderdale. Interesting video of the dismantling of one of the failed cranes was shared on Youtube.
In September of 2017, OSHA’s new standard on exposure to respirable crystalline silica went into effect in the construction industry. The rule lowered the allowable exposure to the harmful substance to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, a measurement that we’re all familiar with [/sarcasm]. After a full year of enforcement, OSHA is considering making a change to the rule.
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