OSHA Issues Temporary Enforcement Policy for Confined Spaces in Construction

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On May 4, 2015, OSHA issued its final rule on Confined Spaces in the Construction Industry, found at 29 CFR 1926.1201-1213. The rule becomes effective August 3, 2015. However, as matter of policy, OSHA is postponing full enforcement of the rule until October 2, 2015. OSHA has adopted this 60 day postponement to allow employers additional time to train employees and acquire the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard.

During this 60-day period, OSHA will not issue citations to employers who exhibit good faith efforts to comply with the new rule, such as:

  • Scheduling employee training on the requirements of the new rule
  • Ordering new equipment necessary to comply with the rule
  • Taking other alternative measures to protect, and fully educate, employees regarding confined space hazards

Employers are not relieved of the obligation to comply with the rule‚ requirements, but for the next sixty days likely will not be cited for violating the rule if the employer can demonstrate that it has already undertaken concrete steps to become compliant.

Employers engaged in construction activities will be well served to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the new construction related confined space rule. For more information, contact Tom Ullrich or Derek Brostek at Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver.

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REGION III Update: OSHA Conducts Over 600 Inspections Last Month

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REGION III Update: OSHA Conducted Over 600 Inspections Last Month.

From June 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015, approximately 646 inspections were conducted in OSHA‚ Region III. Over 45% of the total inspections were conducted in Virginia. Slightly over 50% of total inspections were conducted in the Construction industry and approximately 20% in the Manufacturing industry. The remaining inspections were conducted in other sectors (Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, and Transportation & Warehousing).

OSHAs Region III Insp. June 2015 Pie Chart

 

 

 

 

 

Of the inspections conducted in June, most of them were Planned/Program-Related Inspections.

Types of Inspections Conducted in OSHAs Region III June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

The June inspection data for Region III is consistent with OSHA’s current enforcement policy of conducting more thorough inspections under emphasis and other programs, intended to address workplace safety in industry sectors identified as high hazard.

 

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Region III OSHA Weekly Report

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines its division of Region III to include Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Department of Labor recorded 112 inspections conducted in Region III during the week beginning Monday, June 22 and ending Friday, June 26, 2015.

Reported inspections in the Region III States are as follows:

Virginia 56 inspections

Pennsylvania 41 inspections

West Virginia 8 inspections

Maryland 4 inspections

District of Columbia 2 inspections

Delaware 1 inspection

Inspections conducted in the Commonwealth of Virginia totaled fifty-six (56). Of those inspections, thirty-four (34) were construction-related facilities while the remaining twenty-one (21) were done in areas of general industry, as well as one (1) unspecified location.

VOSH, which administers and enforces OSHA in Virginia, reported the following inspections for the week of 6/22-26:

Source of Authority

Planned: 38

Complaint: 7

Referral: 5

Follow Up: 1

Other: 1

Municipality

Arlington 1; Boones Mill 1; Danville 2; Dulles 1; Forest 1; Gainesville 1; Harrisonburg 8; Henrico 3; Lynchburg 2; Mcgaheysville 1; Mclean 2; Midland 1; Norfolk 7; Orange 5; Portsmouth 2; Prince George 1; Purcellville 1; Richmond 2; Roanoke 1; Rustburg 1; Smithfield 3; Suffolk 1; Verona 1; Virginia Beach 7

Scope of Inspection

Partial: 28

Comprehensive/Complete: 20

Other: 8

Nature of Inspection

Construction: 34

General Industry: 21

Unspecified: 1

Please note that not all OSHA inspections are reported on OSHA‚ inspection database website.
OSHA may inspect a worksite under various sources of authority, including inspections
conducted as the result of a complaint- generally lodged by an employee who reports purportedly unsafe working conditions to OSHA; as the result of a referral- generally from the media due to reports of an incident (e.g, accident involving injuries) taking place at the worksite; as part of an OSHA program (programmed inspection)- these inspections take place because the employer appears on a list created by OSHA relating to an emphasis program it has undertaken, including National Emphasis Programs (e.g., fall protection, chemical issues (PSM-related processes)); or self-reported fatalities or injuries taking place at the facility (e.g., employer contacts OSHA pursuant to regulations mandating reporting certain incidents).
If your worksite is inspected, feel free to contact our firm with any questions you may have
regarding the OSHA citation defense process. OSHA will issue citations from any given inspection within six (6) months from the beginning of the inspection. In federal OSHA plan states, you only have 15 working days to contest the citation, including the proposed penalties and abatement periods set forth therein, from once it is received. If you participate in an informal settlement conference, this participation may not toll the time in which you must issue a notice of contest. If a timely notice of contest is not provided, you may lose your right to contest the proposed citations, including the attendant penalties and abatement periods. Once your notice of contest is received, OSHA or its state-plan equivalent will initiate the prosecution of the proposed OSHA citations by filing a complaint against your company.

Source: www.osha.gov

 

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VOSH Conducted 23 Inspections at Construction Sites Last Week

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Construction Worksite with equipment and concrete columns

Each week, www.oshalawfirm.com will keep you informed regarding OSHA inspection activity in the
Commonwealth of Virginia. We welcome you to visit our site to learn if OSHA is active in your
area of the state. In order to be prepared for an OSHA inspection, it is important to learn what
types of OSHA inspections are taking place in your area.

It was a fairly busy week in terms of the number of OSHA inspections occurring in
Virginia. VOSH focused its attention on construction worksites in the Tidewater area
of Virginia. During the week beginning Friday, October 31 and ending Thursday,
November 6, 2014, the Department of Labor reported thirty-five (35) OSHA inspections
taking place in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with three (3) inspections originating
from the Norfolk office, and thirty-two (32) originating in other offices. 23 of the 35
reported inspections related to construction, in both the residential and commercial settings.
The general industry workplaces inspected included the following types of worksites:

temporary staffing agency
construction contractor
millwork facility
trucking company
warehousing facility
tree service
moving service
building lessor
plastics manufacturer
roofing contractor
collision center
plumbing wholesaler

OSHA (or its state equivalent, in this case, VOSH) may inspect a worksite under various
sources of authority, including inspections conducted as the result of a complaint-
generally lodged by an employee who reports purportedly unsafe working conditions to
OSHA; as the result of a referral- generally from the media due to reports of an
incident (e.g, accident involving injuries) taking place at the worksite; or as part of
a local, regional, or national emphasis program (CHEMNEP, fall protection, etc);
these inspections take place because the employer appears on a list created by
OSHA relating to an emphasis program it has undertaken.

This week the Department of Labor reported the following inspections in Virginia:

Total inspections: 35

Source of Authority:

Complaint Based: 6
Programmed/Planned: 25
Referral Based: 2
Follow-up: 0
Other: 2

Municipality: Alexandria- 1; Ashland- 2; Bridgewater-l; Chantilly- 1; Chesapeake-2;
Colonial Heights- 4; Doswell- 1; Dublin- l; Martinsville -l; Newport News- 1;
Norfolk- 3; Richmond- 2; Roanoke- 3; Salem -1; Staunton- 1;
Sterling- 1; Suffolk- 2; Virginia Beach -7

Scope of Inspection:

Partial: 23
Comprehensive/Complete: 7
Other: 5

Nature of Inspection:

Construction: 23
General Industry: 12

Please note that not all OSHA inspections are reported on OSHA‚ inspection database
website. If your worksite is inspected, feel free to contact our firm with any
questions you may have regarding the OSHA citation defense process. OSHA will
issue citations from any given inspection within six (6) months from the beginnizng of
the inspection. In federal OSHA plan states and Virginia, you only have 15 working days
to contest the citation, including the proposed penalties and abatement periods set forth
therein, from once it is received. If you participate in an informal settlement conference,
this participation may not toll the time in which you must issue a notice of contest.
If a timely notice of contest is not provided, you may lose your right to contest the
proposed citations, including the attendant penalties and abatement periods. Once your
notice of contest is received, OSHA or its state-plan equivalent will initiate the prosecution
of the proposed OSHA citations by filing a complaint against your company.

Previous Virginia Weekly OSHA Inspection Reports:

Weekly Virginia OSHA Inspection Report; Friday, October 10- Thursday, October 16, 2014

Weekly Virginia OSHA Inspection Report; Friday, October 3- Thursday, October 9, 2014

Source: www.osha.gov

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