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Four Questions for OSHA’s Construction Chief

OSHA is increasing its regulation of the construction industry.

OSHA is increasing its regulation of the construction industry.

As we head into August, the construction season is picking up, along with OSHA's regulation of the industry. James Maddux, OSHA's director of construction, recently spoke with Safetyblr.com about important safety issues. His responses highlight how LMS programs, which centralize training resources, can be especially helpful in ensuring greater compliance and safety in construction. 

Here are some of Maddux's responses to important issues: 

OSHA's national safety stand down to prevent falls on construction sites: More than 7,000 employers, who oversee 1.5 to 2 million workers, went to OSHA's website to obtain a certificate to lead and participate in the safety stand downs. Managers then led stand down events in June at their respective sites to raise attention about preventing fall hazards. These events were part of OSHA'S overall fall prevention program, Maddux explained. 

OSHA's recent actions to bring attention to demolition work: Incidents in Chicago and New Jersey, as well as the June 2013 event in Philadelphia, in which a neighboring building collapsed onto a Salvation Army store, killing six people, highlighted the need to address the topic. Maddux said: "We decided to look at what resources we had available and make sure we're doing enough to make people aware of demolition issues."

Challenges of ensuring that small contractors are in compliance: It is a challenge for OSHA to regulate small employers as thoroughly as it should. It's a relatively easy industry to enter too – Maddux added: "…if you are a skilled tradesman and you have your own tools and some contacts, it's easy to pick up a couple of jobs and start your own company. That's the American way and it's a very good thing, but it's often a challenge for these people to learn their regulatory responsibilities and how to work in a safe and responsible manner."

The recent increase in construction fatalities: Construction and the oil and gas industry were the only two industries that saw increases in fatalities in 2012, Maddux reported. "The message I'm trying to get out to construction employers is the importance of safety programs to ensure that these incidents do not continue to rise."

An LMS program can provide a means of training employees in safety procedures. 

To learn more about SyberWorks Inc. services or to schedule a product demonstration, please call us at 888-642-7078, email us at info@syberworks.com or register on our site.

SyberWorks, Inc.
411 Waverley Oaks Road
Building 3, Suite 319
Waltham, MA 02452

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