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OSHA will continue targeting residential contractors in 2017

Posted by Mark Paskell on Mon, Dec 26, 2016 @ 03:27 PM

OSHA will continue its' targeted focus and enforcement on residential contractors in 2017. Injuries, deaths, fines, little or no safety training and lack of OSHA required safety programs still plaque the residential construction industry. In response OSHA, has renewed ongoing Local Emphasis Programs designed to instruct OSHA inspectors to prioritize audits on residential job sites targeting builders, remodelers and trades. In addition, there are numerous other OSHA changes aimed at exposing prime contractor employers who do not provide safety training and programs to protect their employees and require that sub-contractors work safe on their job sites. 

Osha_seal.jpgIn October 2016, Region 1 OSHA renewed two Local Emphasis Programs (LEP) targeting construction. I have provided links to each one.

In the fall hazards LEP, the OSHA directive dictates what an OSHA inspector must do when he/she rides by a job site and notices workers working on upper elevations who appear to be unprotected from falling to a lower level. The Compliance Safety Health Officer must immediately contact their office and if able, immediately conduct a job site inspection on fall hazards.

Unsafe subcontractor triggers OSHA inspection and General Contractor gets fined with sub.036.jpg

Several fall protection trainings I conducted last year were the result of these types of random inspections and subsequent citations and fines. One contractor hired me after his sub-contractors employee got hurt working without fall protection. The sub-contractor was fined and then the General Contractor was also fined under the Multiple Employer Citation Policy. The general contractor is required to make sure that his subs are safety trained and work safe on job sites.

FYI: OSHA Fines increase 78% in August of 2016. (see blog post)

OSHA to create and maintain lists of job sites

In the LEP for Residential Construction, OSHA is instructing each area office to keep track and maintain lists of residential job sites in their jurisdiction. These inspection lists will include, among other items, identification of specific residential construction sites, general contractor/owner, and targeted start up and completion dates. 

Targeted Contractors on residential job sites by NAICS Codes.

OSHA says in New Single Family Housing Construction Contractors (NAICS 236115) and New Multi-family Housing Construction Contractors (NAICS 236116), there are other special trade contractors working at these sites, including Residential Plumbing, Heating and Air-Conditioning Contractors (NAICS 238220); Residential Painting and Wall Covering Contractors (NAICS 238320); Residential Electrical Contractors (NAICS 238210); Residential Masonry Contractors (NAICS 238140); Drywall and Insulation Contractors (NAICS 238310); Residential Roofing Contractors (NAICS 238160) and Residential Siding Contractors (NAICS 238170).

What residential contractors need to do in 2017

To be in compliance residential contractors need to get up to speed on OSHA Safety requirements. I suggest you do the following items to protect your employees and prove you are playing by the rules.

  • Develop a safety program and manual.
  • Train all employees on OSHA 10 (laborers) or OSHA 30 (Foreman, Project Managers, Lead Carpenters). The training should be live and not online. Note; I am re-training (after they were fined) many workers who took online training and then did not apply what they were suppose to have learned online! 
  • Train all employees on Fall Protection; Subpart M, Subpart L, and Subpart X.
  • Conduct job hazard assessments.
  • Conduct regular safety meetings on every job.
  • Conduct surprise job site inspections to make sure everyone (employees and subs) is working safe.
  • Require that all of your sub-contractors have a safety program and at a minimum fall protection training. (You must obtain a copy)
  • Do not hire sub-contractors who refuse to follow OSHA Safety Protocol while working on your job sites.

For help on getting up to speed on OSHA requirements, have us come in for private OSHA consulting or schedule a private training for your employees and sub CONTACT US


Tags: osha enforcement, osha 10, contractors