On April 3, a congressional appropriations hearing was held to discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s Federal funding for fiscal year 2020. During the hearing, the secretary of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta, told the committee how OSHA plans to spend their budget and how the agency fared in the previous year.
Despite losing headcount of compliance officers due in part to the federal government hiring freeze in early 2017, OSHA hired 76 Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHO) in Fiscal Year 2018. The agency also plans to hire an additional full-time 26 CSHOs in FY2019.
Acosta mentioned that new CSHOs are not able to perform unsupervised inspections until they have one to three years of experience.
“Once these inspectors can go out in the field independently, I fully expect, and have told OSHA that I expect, the inspections to be up even more,” Acosta explained.
Although there are dozens new CSHOs on staff, the total headcount of compliance officers was at a record low of 875 as of January 1st. As a comparison, there were 1,016 compliance officers on staff.
Despite the record low staff, OSHA still performed over 32,000 inspections per year in both FY 2017 and 2018, which was a slight increase over FY 2016’s 31,948.
For FY 2020, OSHA is expecting to receive an increase on their budget, albeit a modest one. They were given $557.2 million for FY 2019 and will be given an additional $300,000 for FY 2020.
You can watch the entire 2+ hour hearing below, but most of the information about OSHA begins at the 1:25:00 mark.
Full story: Acosta to lawmakers: ‘I fully expect’ inspections to increase | Safety + Health Magazine
Falls are, by far, the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for nearly 40% each year. That fact is the main reason why personal fall protection devices are so heavily stressed in the industry. But, even if your fall is arrested by a harness, you’re not out of the woods yet, as serious complications can happen while you’re being suspended in the air.
We all know – or, at least, should know – about construction’s Fatal Four Hazards: Falls, Struck-by, Caught-in or Between, and Electrical. Those hazards get most of the attention in most safety training courses in construction and rightfully so, they contribute to a large majority of all deaths on the jobsite. A recent study, however, highlights the need to take certain health hazards more seriously, due to their long term effects.
Summer is officially upon us and beating the heat will keep you healthy and productive. There are many summer dangers on construction sites, but OSHA maintains that water, rest, and shade are the most important factors to avoiding heat illness. Here are a few products to help keep you and hydrated on your jobsites this summer.
In March of 2018, an under construction pedestrian bridge on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus collapsed onto an open street below, killing 6 and injuring several others. Many investigations and lawsuits are still ongoing after the tragedy, but OSHA has released their official report after a roughly 14 month long investigation.
According to a 2016 study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the construction industry sadly ranks first in total suicides and second in suicide rate compared to all other industries in the United States. In response, OSHA has recently published a webpage with resources to help prevent suicides in the construction industry.
As a storm blew through the Dallas, Texas area on Sunday afternoon, a tower crane standing near an occupied apartment building collapsed causing at least one fatality and 6 injuries.
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure has been one of the critical elements of electrical safety training on construction sites for a decade. Generally, it’s pretty simple: if you need to work on an energized circuit or piece of equipment, shut down the breaker, put a lock on it so no one can turn it back on, and place a tag on it with your information. OSHA is considering updating the standard now and is currently requesting information from interested parties.
As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.
For the past 3 years, Seattle, Washington has had the most construction cranes out of any United States city. But, as we know, from various videos and news stories, a crane collapse can have absolutely devastating consequences. On Saturday, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle onto an open road below, killing two construction workers, 2 pedestrians, and injuring several others in the process.