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.
Federal OSHA has sponsored heat safety campaigns such as “Water. Rest. Shade.” in recent years, and has also developed an app for heat safety, but the organization has never had formal requirements for employers to follow in regards to heat safety. Three states currently have heat safety requirements, including California, Washington, and Minnesota. All 3 of those states fall short of was NIOSH recommends, however, which includes year-round exposure monitoring, PPE, and hazard notification.
The petition, which you can read in its entirety here, recommends the following items be addressed in an OSHA standard:
Heat stress thresholds
Mandatory rest breaks
Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as water-cooled garments, air-cooled garments, or cooling vests when hazard reaches a certain level.
Heat acclimatization plan
Heat Alert Program
Worker information and training
Among the 130 organizations that co-signed the petition are farming groups, universities and other schools, labor unions, and legal groups. You can find the full list of co-signors in the petition.
Read the full petition: Petition to OSHA for a Heat Standard | Public Citizen
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.
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.