OSHA Gives Contractors Break on Steel Erection Standard

OSHA says it won't conduct general schedule inspections on the new Steel Erection Standard until March 19, 2002.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says it won't conduct general schedule inspections on the new Steel Erection Standard for 60 days, until March 19, 2002. During this period, the agency will emphasize outreach and education to assist the industry in training employees on the new requirements.

"It is very important that we provide an opportunity for OSHA field personnel, employers and employees to become familiar with the requirements of the new steel erection standard," said OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw. "For that reason, we will emphasize outreach and education for the first 60 days."

Although OSHA will not conduct general schedule inspections, the agency will inspect fatalities and complaints.

OSHA is preparing a comprehensive outreach and training initiative on safety standards for steel erection that begins with a three-day training session Jan. 14-16 in Chicago. More than 300 participants, including stakeholders from the steel erection industry, OSHA compliance officers and consultative staff from each of the regional and area offices, and representatives from the state plan states are expected to attend the seminar. Additional training activities and educational materials will be developed.

The new standard addresses the hazards that have been identified as the major causes of injuries and fatalities in the steel erection industry. These include hazards associated with working under loads; hoisting, landing and placing decking; column stability; double connections; landing and placing steel joists, and falls to lower levels.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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