WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction to help industry employers develop proactive programs to keep their workplaces safe. The recommendations may be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized contractors who lack safety and health specialists on staff.
Safety and health programs encourage finding and fixing workplace hazards before they cause injuries, illnesses and deaths. Implementing these programs also helps reduce the financial difficulties these events can cause for workers, their families and their employers.
Contractors can create a safety and health program using a number of simple steps that include: training workers on how to identify and control hazards; inspecting the jobsite with workers to identify problems with equipment and materials; and developing responses to possible emergency scenarios in advance.
“The recommendations outlined in this document will help contractors prevent injuries and illnesses on their construction sites and make their companies more profitable,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
The recommended practices for a safety and health program are flexible and can be adjusted to fit small and large construction companies handling short-term or multi-year projects. Working with employees to implement a program can offer other benefits including improvements in production and quality; greater employee morale; improved employee recruiting and retention; and a more favorable image and reputation among customers, suppliers and the community.
These recommendations are advisory only and do not create any new legal obligations or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.
In other news, OSHA is extending the comment period for its proposal to revise provisions in the agency’s recordkeeping, general industry, maritime and construction standards. Originally scheduled to expire Dec. 5, 2016, the comment period will be extended to Jan. 4, 2017, to allow parties more time to review the rule and collect necessary information and data for comments.
The agency is revising provisions in its standards that may be confusing, outdated or unnecessary.
Individuals may submit comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Comments also may be submitted by facsimile or mail. The deadline for comments is Jan. 4, 2017.