OSHA's Top Four Jobsite Priorities for Potential Citations

Originally published by: Journal of Light ConstructionAugust 7, 2014

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With an increase in job-site injuries and fatalities, OSHA will be targeting construction sites, especially companies using:

Temporary labor. Temp. laborers, especially those working under a host employer or in a staffing agency employment structure are particularly at risk. According to an article in Business Insurance magazine, of the 3 million temporary workers in the nation's workforce today and "at least 14 temporary workers have died during their first day at a new worksite in the past 12 months."

Fall protection. Three of the top 10 recent common OSHA violations, according to the agency's website, are related to working from heights. Additionally, about one third of construction fatalities result from on the job falls.

Abrasives containing silica. OSHA has been working to establish a more stringent permissible exposure limit for silica in the air, though at this time those efforts are on hold. However, some reduction in OSHA's PEL for silica is likely. According to OSHA, this could apply to anyone using masonry saws; hand-operated grinders; tuckpointing; using jackhammers and rotary hammers or drills; and finishing drywall with silica-containing material.

Cranes and telehandlers. Cranes in commercial construction are the big focus. After receiving a number of critical comments about its crane standard, OSHA recently focused on operator qualifications. An agency standard now requires construction crane operators to meet one of four qualifications/certifications by Nov. 10 of this year. Until that date, employers must demonstrate that operators are competent to safely operate a crane. Read more.

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