OSHA Planning New Road Work and Confined Space Rules

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is mulling plans to improve construction standards in a number of areas by the end of the year, but an official says that the election year could prevent certain measures from being passed right away.

Setting politics aside though, there’s promise in some of the new rules that OSHA is about to put into practice.  One new standard that they’re touting governs confined space on construction jobs.  Although it’s unclear from the report what kind of new guidelines are going to be set, officials have estimated that confined space fatalities at construction sites will be reduced by an astounding 90% with the new rule.  Officials with OSHA have been working on the rule since 2003.

There are also a couple of directives that the organization is putting forth to help their own employees better monitor work sites for potential violations.  The first concerns how their officers police highway work zones.  It aims to correct various inconsistencies in the way that citations are issued to construction areas that are not in compliance.

The other directive concerns the ability of OSHA to enforce crane and derrick safety procedures.  Regulatory guidelines of these types of work sites was issued in 2010, but it has proven difficult in these early stages to monitor potential issues with any kind of regularity.  The new directive aims to correct problem areas and provide a base from which to complete training.

Officials are also fretting about continued violations in the personal protective equipment category, with many workers neglecting to use hard hats and other protective gear.