OSHA is focusing heavily on the residential construction industry in Region 1 and most other jurisdictions. Currently in the 2013 10 most cited standards you will find fall protection related violations are the most common. They are Subpart M (duty to have fall protection), Subpart L (scaffolding) and Subpart X (ladders).
In our last blog post we listed the whole list of top 10 most cited. Other most cited standards that impact residential contractors are respiratory protection and hazardous communication. In addition OSHA has just announced to more significant Emphasis Programs on Silica Dust and isocyanate (spray foam insulation) which are common hazards for residential contractors.
Let's take a brief look at each:
Respiratory: In the Region 1 area, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire, we have so many homes with lead. Contractors have to follow the Lead in Construction Standard when working on any property with lead. This is more stringent than the EPA RRP regulation. In Mass the Lead in Construction Standard is state law as it is written into the RRP statute. (454 CMR 22.00)
(Also In Massachusetts the Department of Labor Standards has fined over 80 companies for RRP violations.)
Hazardous Communication: OSHA is requiring that all company's train all personnel on the ne Global Harmonized System regarding chemicals and toxic substances used on the job. According to OSHA everyone must receive essential GHS training by December 2013. OSHA requires that companies develop and implement a hazardous communication program and then train and certify each employee.
Silica: for contractors silica is a hazard when concrete, stone or granite is cut or demolished. OSHA has stated that they are going to reduce the permissible exposure limit. This will require respiratory plans, medical monitoring, respiratory medical clearance, fit testing, personal protective equipment and training that is certified and documented.
Isocyanates; these chemicals are prevalent in spray foam insulation and paints. Exposure can lead to severe and acute asthmatic attacks and even death. This is a huge deal for all residential contractors because of the country's focus on energy code compliance. In Massachusetts we are seeing widespread use of spray foam on residential projects. When one works with spray foam the whole area must be sealed off and only the trained and protected applicator can be in the area. See related post on full isocyanates
One to get started on the path to learning OSHA Standards is to take OSHA 10 or 30 training. These certification courses help remodelers, home improvement contractors and trades to become familiar with the standards and employer responsibilities on training, documentation and more.
Next OSHA 10 training at National Lumber
on 11/19/2013 ans 11/20/2013.