Region 1 EPA and OSHA to work together on RRP/OSHA enforcement
I learned today that Region 1 OSHA and Region 1 EPA (New England) have issued an EPA/OSHA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the RRP Lead Rule and other safety matters. This MOU (link below) has been signed by Region 1 OSHA and EPA officers. Essentially the two agencies will work together to ensure that EPA RRP Law and OSHA safety standards are complied with on residential construction projects. Contractors may see both agencies riding together visiting job sites.
FYI Region 1 covers Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.
One example; EPA on jobsite and they notice unsafe lead dust and fall hazards with no worker respiratory protection or fall protection in place. EPA will call OSHA Compliance Officer who will address compliance with Respiratory and Medical Monitoring Standards and Fall Protection.
Another example; OSHA on job site observes demolition with no protective sheeting, signs or barriers. Referral to local EPA compliance officer.
This is a significant development in that OSHA and EPA have put in writing that they will jointly refer violations to each other's agency for investigation and possible enforcement. OSHA states in the MOU they are interested in the OSHA Lead in Construction Standard.
I have highlighted some of the most important information for contractors to know below.
Also here is the actual MOU (below) from OSHA for your review. I recommend you read it and pass it along to any contractor you know so they will be informed of this development.
Here are some excepts from the Region 1 EPA/OSHA MOU on how they will work together.
- EPA and OSHA will exchange names and phone numbers of appropriate regional enforcement field personnel including personnel in OSHA regional and area offices.
- EPA and OSHA may conduct joint inspections as appropriate to carry out the purposes of their respective statutory authorities. Such inspections may be coordinated in advance but may also be scheduled on an ad-hoc basis. (No warning inspections)
- EPA and OSHA inspectors, in the course of conducting separate inspections, may discover situations involving potential violations of the other Agency's laws or regulations. In those instances, referrals to the appropriate program contacts, as described below may be appropriate.
- Where EPA and OSHA have conducted joint or coordinated inspections, they may share inspection reports, as appropriate, including copies of any photographs.
- Although EPA does not conduct inspections for occupational safety, in the course of an EPA inspection EPA personnel may identify safety concerns within the area of OSHA responsibility or may receive complaints about the safety or health of employees related to their working conditions. In such instances, EPA inspectors are not to perform the role of OSHA inspectors; however they may refer worker health and safety issues to OSHA pursuant to the procedures set forth in the MOU and implementing agency directives. Likewise OSHA may inform EPA of matters which appear to be subject to EPA jurisdiction when these matters come to their attention during inspections or through worker complaints. OSHA personnel will not perform the role of EPA inspectors.
Please read the attached MOU that describes this joint Region 1 EPA/OSHA enforcement process. Also please forward to other contractors who may not have the time or habit of staying up to speed on significant industry developments. Please post or contact me if you have any questions.
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