In the Beaver State, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) trains a watchful eye on the construction industry to ensure that contractors are maintaining safe and healthful project sites. In fact, Oregon OSHA offers an array of services and materials to help contractors maintain compliance. One valuable resource is The ABCs of Construction Site Safety, a primer on Oregon OSHA’s areas of focus related to the construction industry.
Taking advantage of these free resources is one way you can increase your knowledge of project site safety and avoid costly OSHA citations. In this article, a Portland contractor lawyer from Cotney Construction Law will discuss the information found in The ABCs of Construction Site Safety under the letter “C.” Oregon OSHA places additional emphasis on the letter “C,” associating it with three different areas of focus: chemicals, confined spaces, and cranes.
According to Oregon OSHA, “Employers must prepare a hazard communication program if their employees use or may be exposed to hazardous chemicals.” This is to prevent health-related hazards, such as acute or chronic health effects caused by carcinogens, toxic agents, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, compressed gases, explosives, flammables, organic peroxides, oxidizers, and unstable agents. Contractors are also responsible for alerting their employees to the presence of chemicals prior to the commencement of work and ensuring that they have access to safety data sheets for reference in the event of an accident.
C: Confined Spaces
Workers are often required to enter confined spaces to complete certain tasks. Within these spaces, they can come into contact with toxic gases, corrosive chemicals, flammable solvents, or other hazards. Needless to say, when a worker is in a confined space, they have limited options for egress, which puts them in immediate peril if something goes wrong. Sometimes, when one worker tries to rescue another, it results in two fatalities. The employer is liable for identifying confined spaces and having a professional evaluate them before workers are allowed to enter. In addition, some confined spaces require specific permits. If you’ve received an OSHA citation for violating confined spaces regulations, consult a Portland contractor lawyer.
Cranes and derricks are another hot topic for Oregon OSHA. There’s a lot to stay on top of when it comes to safe crane operation, so you may want to consult a Portland contractor lawyer that is experienced in all OSHA-related matters. For starters, contractors must be cognizant of ground conditions, assembly/disassembly, power line safety, inspections, operation, authority to halt operation, training, and hoisting personnel, among other considerations.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.