Updated Safety Guidelines Expected for Contractors & Builders

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has asked OSHA to update, or create, a Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines document specifically to address concerns within the construction industry. The current guidelines are cited as “not useful”. Common concerns within the construction industry is high employee turnover, use of temp workers and having multiple employers on one site. Not to mention that it is difficult for smaller companies to designate one employee to be in charge of a safety program. Construction companies often lack staff members and/or resources.

The Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health is meeting end of April to discuss a draft construction version of the agency’s Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.  Expected draft should be released sometime in June, the same time updates to the existing document will be made.

What Are the Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines?

The guidelines were originally published in 1989 in order to provide employers and workers with a sound, flexible framework for addressing safety and health issues in the workplace. The guidelines are not a new standard or regulation and do not create any new legal obligations or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.

Updates include recommendations to:

  • Find and fix hazards before they cause injury, illness or death
  • Improve safety and health in all types of workplaces
  • Effectively protect workers, specifically in small to medium sized companies
  • Increase worker involvement, so all workers have a voice in workplace safety and health
  • Communicate and coordinate better on multi-employer worksites

*These updates do not reflect recommendations specific to the construction industry. The draft will be released in June.