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OSHA seen at Worcester permit counter checking contractor permits

Posted by Mark Paskell on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:01 PM

Today we were informed by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Central Mass that Region 1 OSHA enforcement officers were seen viewing open permits in Worcester, Ma. I will post the newsletter in its entirety so there is nothing lost in the translation;

          osha on the prowl wolf

Newsletter from the

Home Builders & Remodelers Association

of Central Massachusetts

           April 23, 2012                        

Dear members,

The Osha agents are out there...

Last week an email was sent out to notify you that OSHA has recently trained numerous additional agents and will be doing "sweeps" across Massachusetts beginning at the end of April.  I received more information confirming that the Osha agents are out there...

One of our members was at the Worcester Permit counter last week, and there were OSHA inspectors pulling random permits to go out and check, and one of the building inspectors stated that there had been discussions with them about doing ride alongs with the inspectors when they went out to do their inspections.

Furthermore, they are looking at things like hard hats and safety glasses, not something you see a lot of on residential sites, but with the full OSHA reg's they are often times required on residential sites. A contractor up on the north shore just got hit with a violation because he had guys working on the ground without hard hats on while he had other guys on the roof and on staging, even though the guys on the ground weren't working directly below the guys above. He also got hit with a violation for his guys not having on safety glasses while operating saws.

We thought there is a priority on the following types of contractors in this order: roofers, framers, siders, painters...however, any and all types of contractors are subject to being caught up in the sweep.

Fall Protection Standards should be implemented and followed. It is imperative that you practice good "housekeeping" of your worksite by picking up construction debris, equipment, etc. That will be the catch-all that will prompt OSHA to enter your worksite, and now hard hats & safety goggles.  In short, don't give them an invitation to walk on to your jobsite.

Furthermore, OSHA has an agreement with the EPA and if they see potential EPA issues they will notify them which may lead to additional fines.

Please make sure that all your subs and trades are aware of the OSHA sweep!


Guy Webb,"

OSHA has been hinting for a while now that they will step up enforcement in the residential construction sector. Now we are seeing it in play.

OSHA will be looking for obvious violations. We recommend that you always practice safety however here are some of the items that can give OSHA a reason to come in

  • Messy job site, trip hazards, bad housekeeping
  • No hard hats when working with nail guns, under others or working with tools that can produce projectiles,
  • Eye and Face Protection
  • Not setting ladders three feet above the landing surface
  • No fall protection when working 6 feet above lower levels. Contractors must use fall protection systems, guard rails and or safety nets.
  • No having guard rails on window and door openings on higher levels
  • Not having a hand rail on stairs over 4 risers or 30"
  • Improper access to scaffolding
  • Platform construction
  • No guard rails on the ends of scaffolding
  • Not using ladders and equipment for its intended purpose, mixing different types of staging, misusing step ladders.
  • Standing on the top steps of step ladders.
  • Using ladder brackets and planks with ladders over 20 feet.
  • Not wearing a harness or using a guard rail when working on scaffolding over 10 feet in height.

Hope this helps. For more information check out our fall protection training page. We have open enrollment and also do private fall protection training for groups, lumber yards and companies throughout New England.

Tags: osha enforecment