Why Should a Home Builder Worry About Being OSHA Compliant?

A few points for Home Builders in today’s market:

  1. In 2009, the legislative blocks protecting residential construction were removed by the Government.
  2. In 2010, the Federal Government tripled the number of OSHA compliance officers.
  3. OSHA is targeting four main areas, “The Focus Four” (fall protection, electrical work, trench work and confined space work).
  4. Residential construction is now subject to all regulations in the 1926 federal code book.

The four points above are just some of the reasons why residential home builders need to develop and have a hazard and safety program.

Standards in this part requiring training on hazards and related matters, such as standards requiring that employees receive training or that the employer train employees, provide training to employees, or institute or implement a training program, impose a separate compliance duty with respect to each employee covered by the requirement. The employer must train each affected employee in the manner required by the standard, and each failure to train an employee may be considered a separate violation. “1926.20(f) (2)”

The last few words “each failure to train an employee may be considered a separate violation” is important for the builder. The word violation is the critical word, in that it can equate to monetary fines, or more in serious instances. The law also states that any subcontractor on site should be considered an employee for the purposes of training.

Every step in the safety process needs to be fully documented, from personnel training, to safety equipment evaluation. A quick survey of the OSHA web site will show multiple cases of builders being cited for violations and the fines imposed.

The solution for the builder is found in sub section “C” of code 1926:

Two main components of the employer’s accident prevention responsibilities are having an “Active” safety program, and job site evaluations by competent persons.

The most cost effective way of creating an effective safety program is to bring in people who are trained in:

  • Providing OHSA qualified safety training to all personnel.
  • Surveying the job site for potential hazards and safety violations, and providing training in prevention of the issues in the future.
  • Addressing unseen or underlying hazards, like chemical or fire dangers.
  • Assuring that all safety equipment is in place, and all personnel are trained in its use.
  • Providing training on how to document all aspects of the safety program.
  • Reviewing incidents and accidents for process failures, and taking corrective action to prevent future incidents.
  • Working with the builder in developing a plan for working with OSHA during and after a site visit.

Pike Consulting Group can work with the builder to create an OSHA compliant program with both an active program with in-depth training and job site evaluations that will help prevent incidents and protect the company’s bottom line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *