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OSHA Is Stopping By

Don’t be surprised if you have more OSHA inspections than usual come July.  A recent article in The National Law Review reports that in May the U.S. Department of Labor announced that OSHA is launching a “National Emphasis Program” (NEP) to prevent or reduce workplace falls, especially in the construction trade.  Because of a mandatory 90-day outreach period, site inspections will begin on or about July 30, 2023.  Although there is no expiration date for this NEP, it will be in place for at least six months. Probably longer.

Although OSHA will target a number of other industries, they will be focusing on the construction trade.  That’s because that in 2021 alone, of the 5,190 fatalities at workplaces due to falls, 986 occurred in the construction industry.

The Fall NEP provides “considering that falls remain the leading cause of fatalities and serious injuries in all industries, the agency has determined that an increase in enforcement and outreach activities is warranted.”

Inspections can occur with no warning.  An OSHA compliance officer can be driving to the grocery store after work.  If they observe a worker working “at height”, they can stop and initiate an inspection on the spot.

If the compliance officer finds inadequate or no fall protection in place, get ready for a hefty fine.  Goodbye profit.  And hello to your friendly county jail as some offenses can lead to criminal prosecution.  (See our recent post re: the legal ramifications of having inadequate fall protection on your jobsite).

Fortunately, construction framing contractors still have time to get their act together.  But July 30th is quickly approaching.  Contact Safety Pole today and have your fall protection system in place before OSHA stops by.

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