Construction can be a dangerous industry. According to OSHA, 21.1% of the 4,779 private industry worker fatalities that occurred in 2018 were in the construction sector. The most frequently cited OSHA standard in 2019 was fall protection for the construction industry.
The construction industry has to work hard to keep workers safe, and that makes keeping up with OSHA reminders and updates especially important. Here’s a look at what’s new.
New COVID-19 Reporting Rules
Construction Dive reports that OSHA has updated its COVID-19 reporting rules. Employers must now report a work-related COVID-19 employee death within eight hours of learning about it. Additionally, employers are required to report in-patient hospitalizations if the hospitalization occurs within 24 hours of a workplace exposure to COVID-19.
For more information on OSHA’s COVID-19 reporting requirements, see the FAQ. It also covers other COVID-19 issues, including facilities, retaliation, return to work, testing, training and worker protection concerns.
Final Rule on Cranes
In September, OSHA published a new final rule on cranes. According to Safety+Health, the new rule provides specific exemptions and clarifications for railroad roadway work regarding the Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard.
In the final rule, which is effective starting on November 16, 2020, OSHA states that “These exemptions and clarifications recognize the unique equipment and circumstances in railroad roadway work and reflect the preemption of some OSHA requirements by regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The revised standard provides a clearer understanding of which regulatory requirements are applicable, resulting in a more effective regulatory program and ultimately improved safety.”
You can read the final rule here.
The Annual Stand Down Event Happened Virtually
After being postponed because of the pandemic, OSHA’s seventh annual National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction event took place from September 14 to 19, 2020. The event is designed to decrease preventable deaths by spreading awareness of workplace safety and sparking a dialogue between employees and employers.
This year, the event had to take place virtually. It included a Fall Hazard Awareness for the Construction Industry video conference, as well as presentations on fall protection topics.
Trade shows have been postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, many construction projects are continuing, and OSHA says that the safety industry is still developing new innovations and technologies.
The Occupational Health & Safety Magazine has a list of 2020 Product Award Winners honoring outstanding product development achievements from health and safety manufacturers. You may not be able to see the products at a trade show right now, but you can see them at the Occupational Health & Safety website.
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