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OSHA Releases Recommended Practices for Construction Safety Programs

Dec. 5, 2016
Agency provides guidelines to both small and large employers in an effort to reduce the high number of injuries and illnesses in the construction industry.

OSHA’s has released its Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction to help industry employers develop proactive programs to keep their workplaces safe.

"The recommendations outlined in this document will help contractors prevent injuries and illnesses on their construction sites and make their companies more profitable," said Dr. David Michaels, OSHA assistant secretary of labor, in a statement.

OSHA’s simple steps to create a safety and health program include training workers on how to identify and control hazards, inspecting the jobsite with workers to identify problems with equipment and materials and developing responses to possible emergency scenarios in advance.

The recommended procedures can be adjusted based on the size of the company or whether the contractor is handling short-term or multi-year projects.

The current state of the construction industry was taking into consideration for the practices, including new construction techniques, materials, and equipment; greater diversity in the construction workforce; an aging workforce and the rise of sedentary lifestyle and increased temporary and contract employment.

The guidelines place emphasis on involving workers and stress the need for communication and coordination on worksites involving more than one employer.

Working with employees to implement a program can offer other benefits including improvements in production and quality; greater employee morale; improved employee recruiting and retention; and a more favorable image and reputation among customers, suppliers and the community, according to OSHA.

The provided guidelines are advisory only and do not create any legal obligations, according to the agency.

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