It’s understandable that after a long day at work you don’t want to research OSHA standards. We all have our day jobs and no time to Google OSHA standards at the end of the day. However, OSHA standards are one of those reading requirements that can result in a safe or healthier workplace, and get your company into compliance. On the topic of OSHA standards, we’ve prepared an overview of our OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour outreach construction safety course to facilitate your learning journey. Found below are the nine components that make up OSHA’s General Health and Safety Provisions for construction.
Safety Training and Education (1926.21)
The Department of Labor, under this provision, has been given the authority to create education and training curriculum for safety and training. This safety training will equip workers of how to abate, avoid and prevent hazards in the workplace.
Under this provision, employers are also mandated to train employees that will keep them from harm’s way, especially if they handle hazardous materials and work in confined space areas or locations where hazards exist.
First Aid and Medical Attention (1926.23)
The employer should be able to provide immediate medical care and first aid to employees. The proper way of carrying out emergency medical care is detailed in Subpart D, Occupational Health and Environmental Controls.
Fire Protection and Prevention (1926.24)
Under this provision, the employer is tasked to draft and implement a fire protection and prevention program at the job site that will be applicable through all phases of the construction work. Subpart F, Fire Protection and Prevention lists the requirements for fire prevention for employers to keep workers safe.
Housekeeping pertains to clearing work areas and passageways at the construction site of scrap lumber and debris that may be dangerous to workers. According to the Housekeeping provision, flammable debris and scraps should be removed on a regular schedule throughout the construction phase so as to not compromise the safety of everyone.
Containers for disposing of waste and hazardous substances shall also be provided by employers. Wastes will also have to be disposed of frequently.
Employers are responsible for providing sufficient lighting at job sites such as construction areas, stairs, corridors and storage areas. Workspace lighting requirements are also detailed in Subpart D, Occupational Health and Environmental Controls.
Sanitation and health requirements for water intake are covered in Subpart D, Occupational Health and Environmental Controls.
Personal Protective Equipment (1926.28)
Employers are required to provide personal protective equipment like gloves, safety glasses, gloves, rubber steel toe boots, protective clothing and respirators to employees who work at hazardous conditions at no cost. The selection, repair, and use of PPE are detailed in Subpart E, Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment.
Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records (1926.33)
Although lengthy, the gist of this provision concerns employees’ access to records. According to the provision, employers must furnish employees (or their representatives) a copy of their medical and exposure records within 15 days the request has been made, free of charge. These copies may be reproduced for the examination of the employee or OSHA representatives. Should trade secrets be of concern, employers have the right to withhold trade secret information as long as they provide employees the needed information for preserving the employee’s health.
Employers are also required by the provision to maintain employee records for the duration of their workers’ employment and 30 years after that. They should also notify the NIOSH Director three months before disposing of the records.
Means of Egress (1926.34)
Emergency exits should always be unobstructed and accessible to employees. Passageways should be guarded against other potential hazards that employees could be exposed to while trying to escape. Exit doors should not be locked preventing an employee from escaping unless the building is used as a mental, penal, or corrective institution in which case personnel should be present at all times.
Understanding these provisions can be easy once employees and employers are trained. Let us help you understand how OSHA’s standards protect employees better.