OSHA Regulations in Construction
June 19, 2011
Employment Law and Policies
Brief Background of OSHA Regulations
OSHA refers to the Occupational Safety and Health Act enacted by the United States Congress in 1970. It was signed into law by Richard Nixon, the then United States President in December of that same year. It is a federal law that oversees the adherence to and enforcement of health and safety within the workplace in both the federal government and the privates sector. Its main objective is to make sure that employees are afforded a working environment that is free of hazards such as toxic chemical substances, noise pollution, dangers from operating machines, extreme temperature differentials or generally unsanitary working conditions. It forms an integral part of almost all the employment laws and policies throughout the United States. The Act and subsequent legislative laws following its enactment are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which falls under the Department of labour of the United States Federal Government. It was created under the OSHA Act and its mission is to enforce workplace safety and health standards by the preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities that may result from one’s occupation and/or workplace environment. It is a futile process to try and understand the benefits of OSHA Rules and Regulations without at first familiarizing ourselves with at least some of these rules and regulations.
OSHA Regulations in Construction
OSHA has developed guidelines and regulations for almost every single form of office in the workplace imaginable. Its regulations span from dealing with hazardous conditions to conducting work on construction sites and the inter relation between the two. Here we shall primarily focus on OSHA rules and regulations for the construction industry. These rules and regulations are extremely numerous and as such we can only afford to tackle some of the most pertinent ones. OSHA regulations that are most pertinent to the construction industry are; * General safety and Health Provisions (1926.20); It states in part that it is the responsibility of employers to prevent accidents. It places a burden on employers to conduct frequent inspections on their safety apparatus and equipment. It also emphases that only select enterprises that have adhered to the laid down safety standards shall be allowed to operate highly sensitive or hazardous materials. * Safety Training and Education (1926.21): It states that all employees should be given adequate training in construction safety. This training includes not only how to operate large machinery and handle hazardous materials but also how to use the equipment handed down to them to enhance their safety. * Housekeeping (1926.25) in cases of ongoing construction all doorways, exits must be free of debris. * Means of Egress (1926.34) All construction sites shall have unobstructed egress from all corners of the site. Exits should be clearly marked and easily accessible to every single construction worker. * Hand Tools (1926.301).No worker shall be permitted to use an unsafe hand tool * Other rules include the employers duty to provide a life vest when working near water, safety goggles in a work station that might interfere with a workers eyesight or be pose danger to his face e.g. through flying debris, provision of firefighting equipment and a hard hat in a site where falling debris is likely. It is important to note that here 1926 refers to the part number of the regulation and not a year in time whereas the number that follows it refers to the specific standard number of the relations. This makes the process of referencing and counterchecking the specific regulations easier. Benefits of OSHA Rules and Regulations
* Savings on Future Financial Costs:
OSHA rules and regulations are...