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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance to Ensure
Uniform Enforcement of Silica Standards

The new directive provides OSHA compliance safety and health officers with guidance on how to enforce the silica standards’ requirements, including:

  • Methods of compliance
  • Table 1 tasks and specified exposure control methods
  • Exposure assessments
  • Housekeeping
  • Respiratory protection
  • Regulated areas
  • Record keeping
  • Employee information and training
  • Medical surveillance
  • Communication of hazards    

The directive also provides clarity on major topics, such as alternative exposure control methods when a construction employer does not fully and properly implement Table 1, variability in sampling, multi-employer situations, and temporary workers.

OSHA began enforcing most provisions of the construction standard in September 2017, with enforcement of the requirements for sample analysis starting in June 2018. Enforcement of most of the general industry and maritime standards began in June 2018, with enforcement of some medical surveillance requirements commencing on June 23, 2020. On June 23, 2021, OSHA will begin enforcing requirements for engineering controls for hydraulic fracturing operations in the oil and gas industry.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov .

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
OSHA Issued Large Dollar Citations for not Protecting Employees from Fall Hazards,
Develops Fall Protection Campaign

Recently OSHA has issued over $2,500,000 in fines to contractors for not protecting employees when working greater than 6’ off the ground or adjacent to hazards. Several citations are from not completing a pre-job hazard analysis, where others were for not having a fall protection plan to including rescues procedures or employees not being trained on basic fall protection requirements.

In 2018, there were 320 fatal falls to a lower level out of 1,008 construction fatalities (BLS data). These deaths are preventable.

Since 2012, OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) - Construction Sector on the Fall Prevention Campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about common fall hazards in construction, and how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented.

When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.

When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).

Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Use the right ladder or scaffold to get the job done safely. For roof work, if workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect it for safe use.

Every worker should be trained on proper set-up and safe use of equipment they use on the job. Employers must train employees in recognizing hazards on the job.
If you need assistance with conducting hazard analysis, fall protection plans or fall protection training, give the CSSI team a call to schedule a time to meet at your jobsite.
Brandon Black - (515) 577-5198 or  Brandon@IowaCSSI.com 
Michael Messer - (319) 572-3595 or Michael@IowaCSSI.com
Mark Wieland - (515) 577-7622 or Mark@IowaCSSI.com
New WORKSAFE Projects:
  Advanced Builders Corp. - Cedar Rapids, IA
-UIHC - General Hospital Replace Roofs 046, 048, and 049

Bi-State Masonry, Inc. - Rock Island, IL
- Hillcrest Residence Hall - Repair Masonry

Build to Suit, Inc. - Coralville, IA
-UI Oakdale Studio Facility

Conlon Construction Co. - Coralville, IA
-UI Pharmaceutical Sciences - 2nd Floor Reno
-West Branch School Add/Reno

Graham Construction Co. - Des Moines, IA
-Mary Greeley Medical Center

Innovative Masonry Restoration LLC - Prior Lake, MN
-UIHC - John Pappajohn Pavilion - Replace Sealants

Mid-American Golf and Landscape Inc. - Lee's Summit, MO
-James A Houk Golf Complex

Larson Construction - Independence, IA
-Lowell New Elementary School
-NICC Peosta Campus Renovation

McComas-Lacina Construction - Iowa City, IA
-UIHC Isolation Fan Replacement Rebid
-UIHC JCP Upgrade Elevator F & H
-Lindquist Center Remodel 1st and 2nd Floors

Metro Pavers, Inc. - Iowa City, IA
-Finkbine Parking Lot and Ramps

Portzen Construction, Inc. - Dubuque, IA
-Kaufmann Ave. Storm Sewer Improvement
(Francis - North Main; 17th - Intales at Heeb St. )

Taylor Glass, INC/DBA MGSI, LTD. - Iowa City, IA
-UIHC - SFCH - Install Window Film

Trey Electric - Marion, IA
-UIHC Replace GDP #1
-UIHC JCP Replacement of Busduct

Tricon Construction - Dubuque, IA
-UI Powerplant Turbine
WORKSAFE is a partnership between Master Builders of Iowa and Iowa OSHA, with safety services provided by Construction Safety Specialists, Inc. For more information on the WORKSAFE program or for safety inquiries, please contact one of the CSSI safety professionals at info@iowacssi.com

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