The National Capital Chapter had the distinct privilege of hosting OSHA Deputy Director for Construction Scott Ketcham for an OSHA Update. Scott has a long and dynamic history at OSHA and his passion for safety and for the work the agency does is very apparent.
Scott provided an update on the top citations in construction (little has changed) and gave an overview into some of the current agency regulatory activities.
One of the current projects relates to standards improvement across all published standards. Some examples of these changes include removing SSN requirements in standards, clarifying PPE fit, clarifying recordkeeping for noise, and removing the requirement for load capacities on the floors of residential structures. These are not drastic rule changes rather smaller technical improvements.
Cranes are another topic currently in the regulatory stages. Comments from the Railroad Crane changes are currently undergoing review. OSHA is also reviewing all crane standard (Subpart CC) amendments and has the standard under staff development. Some of the considerations include proximity alarms and device protections. The final crane rule will be published on or before 11/10/2018. Also on the subject of cranes, a MOU was published in June 2017 regarding monorail hoists and what equipment is exempt from Subpart CC instead falling under Subpart O.
On the subject of Silica, new FAQs are available and have been published by OSHA. There are also new videos available. One question that was raised was whether any state plans are going above and beyond the Federal OSHA Requirements. To the knowledge of the Deputy Director on this date none were known. The top citations continue to be exposure assessments, specific exposure control measures, written exposure control plans, communication of RCS to employees, and employee training.
OSHA currently has a trenching initiative taking place. This means that an additional 10% of OSHA resources will be focused on trenching and excavation. This boils down to a simple fact that Compliance Officers will be stopping if they see a trench and initiate an inspection. Of particular note, the Deputy Director wanted employers to know that access and egress must be within the confines of any trench boxes or protection. Trenching and excavation has numerous resources available on the OSHA website including new tool box talk videos. If you would like to have a stand down, it was recommended to reach out to your local OSHA, NUCA, or NAXSA Representatives to see if they can assist you.
Thank you to AFLAC and David Matcha for sponsoring this event and to Smithsonian Institution SHEM for hosting.
The presentation used by Deputy Director Ketcham will be posted once it is received by the chapter.