OSHA Seeks Feedback on Revisions to Recordkeeping & Construction Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently proposed revisions to its existing record-keeping and construction standards as part of the agency’s Standards Improvement Project (SIP).

The goal of the SIP is to remove or revise outdated, duplicate, or unnecessary requirements in OSHA’s standards, which will help reduce regulatory burdens on employers while still protecting workers.

The following revisions could affect the home building industry:

  • Excluding detached, single-family residences and townhouses from a requirement to post the maximum safe load limits of floors in storage areas. (Residential construction employers would still be required to ensure that any loads placed on floors do not exceed the maximum safe loads of the floors.)
  • Adding a clarification that employers must protect their employees from loose rock or soil and excavated or other materials or equipment that could fall or roll into an excavation.
  • Revising the record-keeping requirements for occupational hearing loss, so that if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the hearing loss or significantly aggravated a preexisting one, the case must now be considered work-related. OSHA also clarified that it is not necessary for work to be the sole cause, predominant or even a substantial cause of the hearing loss: Any contribution from work makes the case work-related for record-keeping purposes.
  • Adding a clarification, and making explicit, the requirement that all personal protective equipment used in construction fit workers properly.
  • Revising the 911 service-posting requirements consistent with the current status of land-line and wireless-telephone technologies.
  • Revising the requirements for signs and devices used to protect workers near automobile traffic by incorporating by reference the 2009 Department of Transportation’s Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
  • Revising the requirements for rollover protective structures to comply with current consensus standards for newly manufactured equipment.
  • Eliminating the requirement that employers include an employee’s social security number on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance and other records. This revised rule would help to better protect employee privacy and prevent identity fraud.

For more detail on these changes and others, read the entire Federal Register notice. Interested members may submit comments to NAHB’s Labor, Safety and Health Policy department (rmatuga@nahb.org) by Friday, Nov. 11.

This article is a post on the NAHB’s NAHB Now blog.