OSHA General Construction Safety and Health Standards

General Construction Safety and Health Standards

Employee Responsibilities Under OSHA

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established regulations regarding construction site safety and health. If a contractor or other party failed to comply with these standards and you were injured in a construction accident, you could be entitled to compensation.

If you or someone you love was harmed in a construction accident and someone other than your employer was to blame, you could be entitled to receive damages if the third party falls outside of the workers’ compensation system. The New York City Construction Accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, PC, are skilled at evaluating construction accident claims and can help you determine whether the negligence of a third party caused or contributed to your injuries. Call our firm today at 212-279-2000 or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.

We serve construction accident victims in the Bronx, and all of New York City, including Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Long Island.

Here are the highlights of OSHA’s General Construction Safety and Health Standards, as found online at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10907

OSHA General Construction Safety & Health Standards

  • 1926.20(a) Contractor requirements.
  • 1926.20(a)(1) Section 107 of the Act requires that it shall be a condition of each contract which is entered into under legislation subject to Reorganization Plan Number 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267), as defined in 1926.12, and is for construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating, that no contractor or subcontractor for any part of the contract work shall require any laborer or mechanic employed in the performance of the contract to work in surroundings or under working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to his health or safety.
  • Accident prevention responsibilities.
  • 1926.20(b)(1) It shall be the responsibility of the employer to initiate and maintain such programs as may be necessary to comply with this part.
  • Such programs shall provide for frequent and regular inspections of the job sites, materials, and equipment to be made by competent persons designated by the employers.
  • 1926.20(b)(3) The use of any machinery, tool, material, or equipment which is not in compliance with any applicable requirement of this part is prohibited. Such machine, tool, material, or equipment shall either be identified as unsafe by tagging or locking the controls to render them inoperable or shall be physically removed from its place of operation.
  • The employer shall permit only those employees qualified by training or experience to operate equipment and machinery.
  • 1926.20(f) Compliance duties owed to each employee.
  • 1926.20(f)(1) Personal protective equipment. Standards in this part requiring the employer to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators and other types of PPE, because of hazards to employees impose a separate compliance duty with respect to each employee covered by the requirement. The employer must provide PPE to each employee required to use the PPE, and each failure to provide PPE to an employee may be considered a separate violation.
  • 1926.20(f)(2) Training. 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.
  • Employer responsibility.
  • 1926.21(b)(1) The employer should avail himself of the safety and health training programs the Secretary provides.
  • The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.
  • 1926.21(b)(3) Employees required to handle or use poisons, caustics, and other harmful substances shall be instructed regarding the safe handling and use, and be made aware of the potential hazards, personal hygiene, and personal protective measures required.
  • 1926.21(b)(4) In job site areas where harmful plants or animals are present, employees who may be exposed shall be instructed regarding the potential hazards, and how to avoid injury, and the first aid procedures to be used in the event of injury.
  • 1926.21(b)(5) Employees required to handle or use flammable liquids, gases, or toxic materials shall be instructed in the safe handling and use of these materials and made aware of the specific requirements contained in Subparts D, F, and other applicable subparts of this part.
  • 1926.21(b)(6)(i) All employees required to enter into confined or enclosed spaces shall be instructed as to the nature of the hazards involved, the necessary precautions to be taken, and in the use of protective and emergency equipment required. The employer shall comply with any specific regulations that apply to work in dangerous or potentially dangerous areas.
  • 1926.23 First aid services and provisions for medical care shall be made available by the employer for every employee covered by these regulations.
  • 1926.24 The employer shall be responsible for the development and maintenance of an effective fire protection and prevention program at the job site throughout all phases of the construction, repair, alteration, or demolition work. The employer shall ensure the availability of the fire protection and suppression equipment required by Subpart F of this part.
  • 1926.25(a) During the course of construction, alteration, or repairs, form and scrap lumber with protruding nails, and all other debris, shall be kept cleared from work areas, passageways, and stairs, in and around buildings or other structures.
  • 1926.25(b) Combustible scrap and debris shall be removed at regular intervals during the course of construction. Safe means shall be provided to facilitate such removal.
  • 1926.25(c) Containers shall be provided for the collection and separation of waste, trash, oily and used rags, and other refuse. Containers used for garbage and other oily, flammable, or hazardous wastes, such as caustics, acids, harmful dusts, etc. shall be equipped with covers. Garbage and other waste shall be disposed of at frequent and regular intervals.
  • 1926.26 Construction areas, aisles, stairs, ramps, runways, corridors, offices, shops, and storage areas where work is in progress shall be lighted with either natural or artificial illumination. The minimum illumination requirements for work areas are contained in
  • 1926.28(a) The employer is responsible for requiring the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment in all operations where there is an exposure to hazardous conditions or where this part indicates the need for using such equipment to reduce the hazards to the employees.
  • 1926.29 Acceptable certifications.
  • 1926.29(a) Pressure vessels. Current and valid certification by an insurance company or regulatory authority shall be deemed as acceptable evidence of safe installation, inspection, and testing of pressure vessels provided by the employer.
  • 1926.29(b) Boilers. Boilers provided by the employer shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this part when evidence of current and valid certification by an insurance company or regulatory authority attesting to the safe installation, inspection, and testing is presented.
  • “Elements.” The following elements, at a minimum, shall be included in the plan:
  • 1926.35(b)(1) Emergency escape procedures and emergency escape route assignments;
  • 1926.35(b)(2) Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate;
  • 1926.35(b)(3) Procedures to account for all employees after emergency evacuation has been completed;
  • 1926.35(b)(4) Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them;
  • 1926.35(b)(5) The preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies; and
  • 1926.35(b)(6) Names or regular job titles of persons or departments who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
  • 1926.35(c) “Alarm system.”
  • 1926.35(c)(1) The employer shall establish an employee alarm system which complies with 1926.159.
  • 1926.35(c)(2) If the employee alarm system is used for alerting fire brigade members, or for other purposes, a distinctive signal for each purpose shall be used.
  • 1926.35(d) “Evacuation.” The employer shall establish in the emergency action plan the types of evacuation to be used in emergency circumstances.
  • 1926.35(e) “Training.”
  • 1926.35(e)(1) Before implementing the emergency action plan, the employer shall designate and train a sufficient number of persons to assist in the safe and orderly emergency evacuation of employees.
  • 1926.35(e)(2) The employer shall review the plan with each employee covered by the plan at the following times;
  • 1926.35(e)(2)(i) Initially when the plan is developed,
  • 1926.35(e)(2)(ii) Whenever the employee’s responsibilities or designated actions under the plan change, and
  • 1926.35(e)(2)(iii) Whenever the plan is changed.
  • 1926.35(e)(3) The employer shall review with each employee upon initial assignment those parts of the plan which the employee must know to protect the employee in the event of an emergency. The written plan shall be kept at the workplace and made available for employee review. For those employers with 10 or fewer employees the plan may be communicated orally to employees and the employer need not maintain a written plan.

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