The MCAA and our member companies continue to be concerned with new regulations being pushed for by outside groups and pursued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Let us be clear, workplace and worker safety remains one of our top priorities. Our employees are our best assets and often they are people we consider family as they have worked with us for many, many years.
With that being said, OSHA has been pursuing numerous new regulations that will impact the construction industry and in particular the masonry industry. These rules include: exposure to silica dust limits, exposure to beryllium limits, Standard Improvement Project IV (SIP’s IV), and a Request For Information (RFI) related to forklift operations, too name just a few.
We are also hearing rumors that legislation might be moving through the House of Representatives’ Education and Labor Committee in the near future mandating that OSHA submit a new regulation related to Heat exposure on worksites.
With respect to the Powered Industrial Trucks for (“PITs”) RFI, OSHA is seeking information from the public on a wide range of issues related to PITs (including rough terrain forklifts) for the purpose of potential revising applicable OSHA standards in general industry, construction, and maritime. OSHA states that it “is seeking information regarding the types, age, and usage of powered industrial trucks, maintenance and retrofitting of powered industrial trucks, how to regulate older powered industrial trucks, the types of accidents and injuries associated with operation of powered industrial trucks, the costs and benefits of all other components of a safety program, as well as other issues.” Current standards for PITs in construction are located at 29 CFR 1926.602(c) and (d). The use of PITs on construction sites is significant, particularly rough-terrain forklifts, which are common on both residential and commercial construction sites and we remain concerned about the direction OSHA might take in this area.
The MCAA and our members remain concerned that employees at OSHA do not have a deep enough understanding of the nature of construction sites and the impact that their rules have on a real-world construction site. We would ask that you as Representatives of our companies would play close attention to OSHA and the regulations that they are putting forth and conduct proper oversight to such rules.