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 September 10, 2019, OSHA’s deputy director of Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced their preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety violations for their fiscal year 2019.
It’s no secret that the construction workforce is dominated by men, but women are slowly increasing their numbers in recent years as gender barriers continue to be knocked down. With construction jobs expected to continue to grow over the next few years, women will play a significant role in filling job openings.
Construction employers are legally responsible for following and enforcing safety regulations on their jobsites. If caught not abiding by these rules and failing to keep workers safe, an OSHA violation and fine can follow. Recently, however, several contractors are also facing criminal charges following employee deaths on their jobsites.
After causing devastation in the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian worked its way up the U.S. East Coast last week and eventually made its way up to Nova Scotia, Canada as a Category 2 storm. The storm left more than 369,000 without power in the Canadian Region, according to CBC, but also caused a tower crane to buckle and collapse in the city of Halifax.
A 2018 trench collapse in Colorado lead to the death of a construction worker named Rosario “Chayo” Martinez-Lopez. Now, his employer faces manslaughter charges for his death.
Drones have been heavily used by the construction industry in recent years for anything from progress photos, to employee tracking, or calculating the volume of on-site stockpiles. Now, a report from EHS Today says that OSHA plans to employ more drones to conduct site inspections of employer facilities.
Last fall, OSHA announced its intentions to explore updating the 2016 silica dust regulations that seemingly took the construction by storm. Their intent was to gain feedback on additional dust control methods that would be suitable for hazard control, as well as on additional tasks and equipment not currently covered by Table 1 in 29 CFR 1926.1153. Last week, they announced the next step they’re taking towards revisions.
Almost 18 months ago, an under construction pedestrian bridge on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus collapsed, killing 6 people and injuring another 8. While many investigations have closed, including OSHA’s scathing report, families of victims and survivors have been awaiting the results of civil lawsuits filed against the companies in charge of the projects.
The spring of 2019 saw 3 trench collapse deaths in a span of 10 days. One at a home construction site in Colorado, another during a culvert install in Marysville, Ohio, and a third at a residential site in Sugarcreek Township, Ohio. The latter has recently received a hefty fine and penalty from OSHA.
Personal fall protection devices are extremely important to saving lives and preventing injuries due to falls on a jobsite. Half the battle is getting your team to wear harnesses, but when they do, you need to trust that the devices will work when they’re needed. 3M has recently issued an immediate stop use and product recall on two of their fall protection products.