There are strong signs that OSHA is increasing its enforcement actions on home building sites throughout the country—in both Federal and state plan jurisdictions. One of the main reasons is that new data shows the number of fatalities in residential construction increased by 37 percent compared to just a 3 percent increase in nonresidential construction in 2012, which is the most recent data available. OSHA has also instituted a number of local enforcement emphasis programs aimed at reducing numerous construction hazards, including those in residential.
There are a few simple things that home builders and their partners should do to improve safety on their jobsites and be prepared for OSHA inspections:
- Conduct an assessment to identify and correct safety hazards on the jobsite;
- Conduct appropriate safety training for employees and subcontractors;
- Update records and make sure they are readily available;
- Understand the OSHA inspection process (see link below to the OSHA Inspection Toolkit).
- 1926.501 - Duty to have fall protection
- 19260.451 - General scaffold requirements
- 1926.1053 - Ladders
- 1926.503 - Fall protection training requirements
- 1910.1200 - Hazard Communication
- 1926.102 - Eye and face protection
- 1926.100 - Head protection
- 1926.453 - Aerial lifts
- 1926.651 - Specific Excavation Requirements
- 1926.20 - General safety and health provisions
Finally, here are additional resources to assist home builders:
- NAHB’s Construction Safety & OSHA webpage, which contains compliance assistance information and safety toolkits here: www.nahb.org/safety;
- NAHB’s OSHA Inspection Toolkit that provides information on dealing with OSHA’s stepped-up enforcement;
- Easy-to-use handbooks and videos that present key safety issues builders and workers need to focus on to reduce accidents and injuries, which can be found here: https://builderbooks.com/book/safety.html; and
- OSHA Assistance for the Residential Construction Industry: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/residential/index.html.