It goes without saying that safety is an ongoing priority for everyone in construction, but given the federal dollars flowing into infrastructure work across the country, OSHA is stepping up attention to safety—and directing contractors big and small to new resources aimed at making safety top of mind each day.
Stepping It Up
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been increasingly focused on construction. In fact, reporting for Construction Dive Julie Strupp points out that last year OSHA did more inspections at construction worksites than at any other industry. According to industry leaders, OSHA is expected to continue it’s emphasis on improving safety in the construction industry, especially related to “roads, bridges, airports, rail, ports and power and water systems….” Given the opportunities created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, OSHA is mindful that smaller contractors may need additional support when it comes to safety standards and has launched this new Safety and Health website to provide support. As Construction Dive shares:
The agency realizes that the infusion of federal money into construction will result in bids from smaller companies, which often lack the safety resources that larger and more established firms have…. OSHA developed the webpage to help less-resourced companies that will be working on infrastructure projects. “This construction infrastructure safety and health webpage is intended to be a resource for contractors and other employers working on improving and building our nation’s infrastructure,” the website reads. “This is especially important for the critical work being undertaken through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” The resource focuses on the four most common types of hazards in construction:
- Struck-by object hazards.
- Caught-in or between hazards.
It also directs contractors to implement and integrate a written safety and health plan, and to engage workers in implementing it. The webpage also contains links to design safety, suicide prevention and many other resources.
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Knowledge of the most common violations identified by OSHA can help contractors improve safety—and steer clear of violations too. Learn more about OSHA’s findings and recommendations related to safety violations right here. Progress is especially needed on fall prevention, which in 2022, topped the list of safety violations for the 12th straight year in a row: “Fall protection—or lack thereof—has become more than just a hazard. Falls are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities, particularly in the construction industry….Provide personal protective equipment (PPE), along with guardrails, safety nets, or fall arrest systems for employees above six feet or more. Train your team on the proper use of fall protection equipment and inspect your systems regularly.”
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