Updates on Regulations Affecting Jobsite Safety

Industry News ,

Originally Published by: SBCA Magazine — July 27, 2022
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The National Framers Council (NFC) is a signatory member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC). The CISC is made up of 30 trade associations from all sectors of the construction industry, and focuses heavily on workplace safety and health, with each member committed to helping create safer construction jobsites for workers. Through NFC’s involvement with the CISC, the framing community has been able to have a direct and valuable voice in the direction OSHA takes in developing an industry standard for COVID-19, heat-related illnesses, and powered trucks used on the jobsite. Here is a brief update of activities that the CISC is actively monitoring in July 2022:

  • DOL/OSHA Regulatory Agenda – The Department of Labor has just issued its 2022 “Spring” Regulatory Agenda, which is the semiannual compilation of information about regulations under development by federal agencies, which can be found here.  Several items that are in the Final Rule Stage that the CISC was engaged on: Update to the Hazard Communication Standard and Subpart U--Emergency Temporary Standard--COVID-19.  There are also a few items in the Proposed Rule Stage we are monitoring including: Infectious Diseases; Personal Protective Equipment in Construction; and Powered Industrial Trucks Design Standard Update.  Additionally, there is one regulation in the Prerule Stage that we are following very closely: Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings.  Finally, Revisions to Table 1 in the Silica Standard for Construction has been moved to Long-Term Actions.
  • Heat Illness Prevention – Currently, OSHA has begun a dialogue and engaged with stakeholders to explore the potential for a rulemaking on heat.  The CISC submitted comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). Additionally, OSHA is seeking additional stakeholder feedback through the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group, which is charged with: 1) evaluating and providing input and recommendations on OSHA’s heat illness prevention materials; and 2) critically evaluating stakeholder input to the Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings ANPRM and developing key recommendations on potential elements of heat injury and illness prevention rulemaking that OSHA should consider.  Several CISC members have been participating in the NACOSH heat workgroup meetings to reiterate the CISC message to OSHA: if the Agency does take a regulatory approach, if adopted, it must be simple and should integrate the key concepts of “Water, Rest, and Shade”, as well as OSHA to consider a separate regulatory approach specifically for the construction industry.  Finally, in April, OSHA issued the National Emphasis Program – Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards, which establishes OSHA’s targeted enforcement and its compliance assistance and outreach efforts. Under the NEP, OSHA will conduct inspections when the National Weather Service has announced a heat warning or advisory in an area and will target high-risk workplaces for these inspections, such as construction sites.  The CISC is in the process of determining the next action to address the heat issue and OSHA’s NEP.
  • OSHA Construction Update – OSHA staff have been providing construction update presentations at various meetings over the past several months.  The attached information was provided to NAHB members in June by OSHA Director of Construction, Scott Ketcham, and Deputy Director of Construction, Tim Irving, which is an update on OSHA’s regulatory initiatives, revised inspection statistics, the Focus Four + health hazards, as well as the overview of OSHA’s efforts on suicide and substance misuse.
  • PITs/Forklifts – In February, OSHA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comments on the agency updating the design and construction requirements of the powered industrial trucks (i.e., forklifts) standard for construction by incorporating by reference the applicable provisions of the most relevant national consensus standards from the American National Standards Institute/Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ANSI/ITSDF).  CISC submitted a letter on May 17 raising concerns with OSHA’s decision to delegate its rulemaking authority to a third-party committee’s standards by reference and that agency has failed to account for costs that the construction industry will undoubtedly face if the proposed rule is adopted.  The final letter can be found here
  • Injury Recordkeeping/Electronic Reporting – Numerous CISC members signed on to the June 30 Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS) letter on OSHA’s Proposed Rule to  Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses.  The proposal would require electronic submission of data (OSHA Forms 300, 301 and 300A) for establishments with 100 or more employees in certain high-hazard industries—including construction— and the data is intended to be posted online by OSHA.  The CWS raised concerns with the agency’s attempt to require electronic submission of employer summary data and individual employee injury and illness data.  The CWS letter can be found here.