HBA Host OSHA Training Course
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Compliance Officer Todd Sieleman recently led a three-hour training course at the HBA. He discussed local findings by OSHA as well as current regulations, enforcement, and upcoming changes. He reported that the local OSHA office investigated 14 fatalities in the Kansas City area last year, up from the 9 that occurred in 2014. Approximately half of those deaths were fall related.
Sieleman also informed members of a possible increase in penalty fees. “Come August, OSHA penalties are estimated to go up 82-90 percent.” If passed, this will be the first time fees have been raised since 1990. Other agencies have gradually incorporated increases in inflation into their penalties, but OSHA has not. The huge jump in fees would tie the 1990 penalty rate to the current Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, the rate changes are not guaranteed at this point and will be affected by this year’s Congressional Budget as well as the decisions of the outgoing Administration.
Sieleman also spoke on the rights of home builders if OSHA inspectors visit your building site. Some of those rights include:
- The right to deny OSHA an inspection under the Fourth Amendment and question the probable cause justifying the inspection. OSHA will then be required to get a warrant.
- The right to access a copy of the complaint prompting the inspection.
- The right to accompany the compliance officer at all times once the inspection begins – and take pictures alongside the officer.
- The right to protect trade secrets and confidential business information from disclosure to third parties.
To read more about OSHA regulations refer to the website https://www.osha.gov/.