Not a Member? Get access to HR news and resources that you can trust.
Here is how HR can help prevent the missteps that could cost your company big in court.
Is your employee handbook ready for the changing world of work? With SHRM’s Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
60+ new SHRM Seminar dates in 10 U.S. cities and virtually.
Expand your influence and learn how to become an effective leader -- Join us in Phoenix, AZ, October 2-4, 2017.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed revisions to its personal protective equipment standard in construction advanced a step when an advisory panel voted on a technical matter and moved it forward.
OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) voted on a regulatory option May 8, 2014, allowing OSHA to proceed with a proposal updating the agency’s construction standard on eye and face protection, bringing it in line with the latest consensus standards and making it consistent with the general industry standard.
OSHA updated its personal protective equipment (PPE) standards for general industry and maritime work in 2009, incorporating a number of updated consensus standards governing the design and testing of eye and face, head, and foot protection. The construction standard was not updated at that time. In June 2012, OSHA again updated its PPE standard for head protection, including for construction work. In addition, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) published a new eye and face protection standard in 2010 (ANSI Z-87.1).
OSHA intends to publish a Direct Final Rule to incorporate the 2010 ANSI standard for general industry, maritime and construction. The rule is scheduled for publication in September 2014.
The construction standard on eye and face protection, based on ANSI’s 1968 consensus standard, is out of date, said Ken Stevanus, an official in OSHA’s directorate of standards and guidance.
“In view of the limited useful life of eye and face protection and the length of time since OSHA last updated its construction standard on eye and face protection, the agency believes that no manufacturers of eye-and-face-protection equipment currently test this equipment in accordance with the requirements of [the 1968 ANSI standard].”
Stevanus added that the construction industry already customarily relies on the most recent consensus standards and not on the 1968 version, and so the proposed rule will not be a compliance burden on employers.
“I believe that most are already purchasing equipment that complies,” said Kevin Cannon, director of safety and health services at the Associated General Contractors of America. “This primarily applies to the manufacturers of the safety equipment, which are also already meeting the ANSI standards referenced in the proposal.” To allow some compliance flexibility, OSHA does state in the proposal that if an employer can demonstrate eye and face protection equipment protects workers at least as effectively as equipment tested in accordance with ANSI Z-87.1, they will be deemed to be compliant, Cannon remarked.
Additional Construction Safety Updates
Dean McKenzie, deputy director for OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, discussed several construction safety directives near to launch. These include:
McKenzie also spoke about the agency’s high expectations for the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction event, scheduled for June 2-6, 2014. “This has been a wonderful outreach effort, not related to enforcement,” he said.
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Follow him @SHRMRoy
SHRM OnlineSafety & Security page
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Don’t Lose Sight! What Does Poor Preventive Care Cost Your Business?
CA Resources at Your Fingertips
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies