When the Trump Administration released their Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions earlier this year, they promised a few regulation rollbacks that would affect the construction industry throughout the year.
Among those rollbacks was a plan 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.” Just under the wire, on July 27, OSHA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would remove the requirement for companies that have 250 or more employees to submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report).
Just like smaller companies, these larger companies will now only be required to electronically submit OSHA Form 300A, which is merely a high level summary of work-related injuries and illnesses. The Department of Labor stated that the proposed change was issued in order to protect privacy and reduce burdens on employers. OSHA Forms 300 and 301 contain sensitive information about individual workers who are injured or made ill.
July 1, 2018 was supposed to be the deadline for large companies to submit the OSHA Forms 300 and 301 with 2017 data through the online system, but OSHA is not currently accepting them, pending the rule change. OSHA is, however, currently accepting OSHA Form 300A with 2017 data, though any forms submitted past July 1 will be counted as late.
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.
Last November, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced felonious assault charges against a contractor’s superintendent and a manufacturer’s branch manager after two men suffered horrific injuries on a New York jobsite. Last week, OSHA formally announced citations against the St. Louis, Missouri based contractor.
After an uptick in construction industry fatalities in 2016, a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that both the amount of construction worker deaths and the rate of fatality dropped in 2017.
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.