By Steve Rizer
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has unveiled its semiannual regulatory agenda, providing a laundry list of potential rulemakings that would affect the nation’s construction industry. The agenda, much of which DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would carry out, outlines the Obama administration’s planned timeline for issuing the rules -- which address confined spaces in construction, exposures to beryllium and crystalline silica, amendments to the federal cranes and derricks standard, among other things -- but the department is not legally compelled to stick to the stated agenda.
OSHA is working on rulemakings in the following areas:
- Confined spaces in construction
- Crystalline silica
- Occupational exposure to beryllium
- Injury and illness prevention programs
- Proposed amendments and corrections to cranes and derricks
- Backover injuries and fatalities
- Construction industry standard for eye and face protection
- Electronic recordkeeping
- Clarification of an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness
- Walking working surfaces and personal fall protection systems
- Occupational injury and illness recording and reporting requirements regarding musculoskeletal disorders
Of all these areas, Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) primarily is focusing on silica … for now, Kevin Cannon, AGC’s senior director of safety and health services, said during an interview with ConstructonPro Week. He noted that his organization intends to submit additional comments on the silica plan (ConstructionPro Week/CPW, Feb. 28, 2014, “Is Compliance with OSHA’s Proposed Silica Rule for the Construction Industry Even Possible?”) both through the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and on its own before the Aug. 18 deadline. Silica is AGC’s main focus for now because many of the other proposals have yet to be published in the Federal Register, he explained.
The ConstructionPro Network member version of this article includes additional details about the planned rulemakings and more comments that Cannon made during the interview.