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  • 02 Apr 2014 7:21 AM | Jim Rogers
    Arizona - A law enacted by the State of Arizona regarding fall protection on residential construction has prompted Federal OSHA to issue a 30 notice to show cause to the State of Arizona, and puts the State on notice that the Federal Government intends to take back jurisdiction for safety in the construction industry within Arizona. Currently, Arizona operates as what is known as a "state-plan" state, wherein the Federal Government provides funding assistance to the state and permits the state to operate it's own state version of OSHA. In Arizona this is known as ADOSH, which is a division of the State Industrial Commission. ADOSH inspects and enforces the OSHA standards for most industries throughout the State. Under the notice issued by Federal OSHA last week, the Federal Government is planning on rescinding the state's funding and taking over the inspection and enforcement of safety regulations in the construction industry within the State. 

    At issue is the State's recently enacted law that effectively raises the trigger height for fall protection on residential construction from six feet up to 15 feet. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls from height continue to be the leading cause of injuries and fatalities on construction sites. In 2012, 88 people died from falls on residential construction sites; about a quarter of them were falls from between 6 and 15 feet. In its letter to Arizona, OSHA states that Arizona "requires very limited, if any, fall protection for employees working between 6 and 15 feet. 

    On all other types of construction work throughout Arizona and the rest of the United States, conventional methods of fall protection are generally required when working at heights above 6 feet, and 6 feet continues to be the trigger height in Arizona on all types of construction except residential projects. When Arizona took the extraordinary step of changing fall protection heights through legislation (instead of leaving it in the hands of ADOSH and its administrative rule making process), the American Society of Safety Engineers filed a complaint with the Federal Government against the State of Arizona. This led to an investigation and an official finding by the Feds that Arizona's new law had resulted in safety regulations that were less effective than the federal standards, a violation of the agreement that gave the State jurisdiction over the OSHA standards. This activity took place in December 2012 - January 2013.

    Much discussion and many meetings have occurred since then, leading up to this point where the State is now being notified that unless this is corrected immediately, Federal OSHA will rescind its grant money to the State and resume its own inspection and enforcement activities within the construction industry in Arizona. 

    The 30 day notice to show cause issued by Federal OSHA to the state is the latest in a series of events related to Federal OSHA's concern with worker safety on residential construction sites. The interaction began with the passing of SB-1441 (now known as ARS 23-492), proceeded to the filing of a CASPA (Complaint About State Program Administration) by the American Society of Safety Engineers in December 2012, and has resulted in many industry meetings urging the State to reverse its course and set the fall protection height back to 6 feet. There is currently a bill making its way through the Arizona legislature that, if signed as proposed (and recently amended), may do just that. Several construction industry groups have expressed hope that this bill's passage and subsequent signature into law by the Arizona Governor would reverse the stated course of Federal OSHA and leave jurisdiction in the hands of ADOSH. These industry groups have stated that they are in favor of residential fall protection standards matching those used on commercial construction sites. 
  • 02 Apr 2014 6:11 AM | Jim Rogers
    On February 28, 2014, OSHA updated the material contained in their mandatory 2-hour Introduction to OSHA training module that is a part of the OSHA 10 and 30 hour outreach training programs. The updates make changes to the portions of the materials related to the HazComm standards and brings the material up to date with the new HazComm standard and the GHS requirements. Revised materials include a new Instructors Guide, Power Points and Handouts. 

    Outreach Instructors authorized through Arizona State University can click here to download the latest versions in English and Spanish, including the updated Instructors Guide. Clicking this link will take you to the Outreach Trainer Resources section of this web site and requires you to be logged in to access the page.

    For additional information you can also visit OSHA's web site at http://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/teachingaids.html.

  • 05 Mar 2014 1:30 PM | Jim Rogers

    Western OSHA Education Center at Arizona State University to offer Event Focused training

    Arizona State University is taking the lead in event safety education by offering the nation’s first OSHA 10 and 30 hour OSHA Outreach Construction courses tailored to the live event and special event industry.

    After consulting with the Event Safety Alliance, Jim Rogers and the leadership of the Western OSHA Education Center, created this program to align with the requirements of OSHA’s Construction Outreach training program.

    The OSHA Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry provides training for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces in the construction industry.

    “The Event Safety Alliance is excited to be part of this groundbreaking educational opportunity” Said Jim Digby, Executive Director of The Event Safety Alliance.  “For a university such as ASU to recognize the value of this training and to take the initiative to create this program speaks volumes about ASU’s leadership”

    Arizona State University has a long history of live event success.  From major concerts to Presidential visits; to being one of the largest film production sets to hosting Super Bowl XXX, Arizona State University has come of age with the live event industry.

    Adding Live Event safety education is a natural fit for this world class educational institution.  The Western OSHA Education Center is a training and extended education center that is housed in ASU’s Del E. Webb School of Construction and is a part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

    “We recognized early on that the Event Safety Alliance was advancing the cause of this specialized area of the construction industry.  ASU is proud to be supporting the men and women of the live event and special event industry.” commented ASU’s Jim Rogers.

    The 10-hour class is intended for entry level workers, while the 30-hour class is more appropriate for supervisors or workers with some safety responsibility. Through this training, OSHA helps to ensure that workers are more knowledgeable about workplace hazards and their rights, and contribute to our nation's productivity.

    Click here for more information and schedules for this course.

    For more information the Western OSHA Education Center can be reached at (480)727-5024 or http://osha.asu.edu

  • 03 Feb 2014 2:03 PM | Jim Rogers
    OSHA encourages the public to submit comments on its proposed silica rule and has extended the deadline for comments from January 27th to February 11, 2014 to allow stakeholders additional time to comment on the proposed rule. 

    Comments on OSHA's proposed silica rule may be submitted by mail, fax or at regulations.gov.

  • 08 Jan 2014 8:17 AM | Jim Rogers

    Tempe, AZ - The Western OSHA Education Center at Arizona State University is excited to announce the scheduling of OSHA courses in Las Vegas, Nevada beginning in January 2014. In cooperation with the Associated Builders and Contractors of Nevada, ASU will utilize their Las Vegas training facilities to host the OSHA Training Institute Education Center courses produced by ASU. This will include both construction and general industry courses including the standards, trainer, refresher and special topics courses.

     

    "With the recent closing of the OTI Education Center previously serving Nevada, this will re-establish the opportunity for people living and working in Nevada to easily attend regularly scheduled courses without having to travel out of state," stated Jim Rogers, Director of ASU's OTI Ed Center program. Initially courses will be scheduled in Las Vegas and will expand into Reno by the second half of 2014. "We have very experienced course instructors on board who live and work in Nevada that will provide the service and meet the training needs of the industry there."

     

    About the Western OSHA Education Center at ASU - The Center is an authorized OSHA Training Institute Education Center, established under a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and Arizona State University. It is housed within ASU's Del E. Webb School of Construction, which is part of the Fulton Schools of Engineering, and is headquartered on ASU's main campus in Tempe, Arizona. The Center serves OSHA Region 9, including Arizona, Nevada, California Hawaii and Guam.

     

  • 15 Nov 2013 9:00 AM | Jim Rogers
    Washington, DC - On November 7, 2013, OSHA issued a press release stating that they have published a proposed new rule that will require all companies with 250 or more employees, and companies with 20 or more employees in high hazard industries to submit their OSHA 300A log directly to OSHA. The list of designated high hazard industries includes virtually all segments of the construction industry. Public comments are being accepted on this proposed new rule until February 6, 2014. 

    This proposed new rule does not establish any new record keeping requirements, but it will require that large employers and most employers in the construction (and other high hazard industries) submit electronic copies of the records that they are already supposed to be keeping. Read more on our Safety Info Page.

    Need to make sure your record keeping procedures are in order? Click here to find out when we have OSHA Record Keeping Workshops scheduled.


  • 25 Oct 2013 3:02 PM | Jim Rogers
    Phoenix, AZ - Federal OSHA Area Director, Zachary Barnett, was the keynote lunch speaker during "Contractor's Day" at the 2013 Fall Convention of the American Concrete Institute. This convention is attended by hundreds of contractors, engineers and academic professionals who come to attend technical sessions, committee meetings and other activities related to the concrete industry. The Tuesday of the convention is designated as Contractor's Day and includes a technical session track with topics relevant to the construction side of the industry. Jim Rogers, Director of ASU's OSHA Training Institute Education Center organized the day's activities and introduced Mr. Barnett to the attendees. 

    The presentation included updates on OSHA programs and inspections, including topics that are in the pre-rule stage and topics that are currently in the rule making phase. One of the major topics of interest to the concrete industry is the proposed standard on occupational exposure to crystalline silica. The agency has reported that new rules will be forthcoming on this topic, with a separate standard specifically for the construction industry. The intent is to provide a common sense, flexible approach for employers. Mr. Barnett pointed out that in addition to the disease silicosis, exposure to respirable crystalline silica has been linked to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney and immune system disease. OSHA expects the health benefits to the rule to include the avoidance of nearly 700 fatalities per year, along with the prevention of over 1,600 non-fatal silicosis cases annually. The breakdown of the fatality cases expected to be mitigated by the proposed rule include 381 cases of silicosis and other non-cancer lung diseases, 165 lung cancer deaths and 153 end-stage kidney diseases.

    Providing additional information, Barnett noted that current epidemiological evidence shows that lung cancer and silicosis occur at exposure levels below 100 µg/m3 and that current PEL's (permissible exposure limits) do not adequately protect workers. He noted that the proposed PEL is Proposed PEL is 50 µg/m3 8-hour TWA for respirable crystalline silica, with an action level of 25 µg/m3, and that the proposed standard includes provisions for 

           Measuring worker exposures to silica;

           Limiting access to areas where workers could be exposed above the PEL;

           Use of dust controls;

           Use of respirators when necessary;

           Medical exams for highly exposed workers;

           Worker training; and

           Recordkeeping.


    The proposed rule has been published in its entirety in the Federal Register and is now open to public comment. Of particular interest to the construction industry is what's known as "Table 1" of the construction standard. Construction employers can simply choose to implement the dust controls specified in this table and then at that point no exposure monitoring is required. A excerpt from Table 1 is shown below.

     








    Barnett also discussed additional initiatives such as those designed to protect temporary workers, additional training resources such as the Construction V-Tools, and the new Region 9 OSHA Training Institute Education Center at ASU. Information was accepted well by the attendees and the discussion on Silica provided much needed information to the industry on the agency's viewpoint and rational. 

    Additional information on the proposed silica standard can be found at www.osha.gov/silica, and the proposed rule can be found in the Federal Register at https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-20997. Note that public comments on the proposed rule can be submitted to OSHA until January 27, 2014. 


  • 15 Oct 2013 9:19 AM | Jim Rogers
    OSHA's top 10 most frequently cited standards for fiscal year 2013 were announced October 1st at the 2013 National Safety Council's (NSC) Congress and Expo in Chicago.

    The top spot belongs to fall protection with 8,241 citations; next is hazard communication with 6,156; scaffolding, 5,423; respiratory protection, 3,879; and electrical – wiring methods, 3,452.

    Rounding out the top 10 are:
    • Powered industrial trucks: 3,340
    • Ladders: 3,331
    • Lockout/Tagout: 3,254
    • Electrical – General Requirement: 2,745
    • Machine Guarding: 2,701
    The list is only preliminary.
  • 04 Oct 2013 3:29 PM | Jim Rogers

    Tempe, AZ - The Western OSHA Education Center at Arizona State University is excited to announce the launch of five new Professional Certificate Programs related to occupational safety and health. In addition to participation in OSHA's new Public Sector Fundamentals certificate program, ASU's OTI Education Center will also offer a Specialist certificate in both general industry and construction, as well as a professional certificate in Advanced Management of Construction Safety. These new Professional Certificate Programs will help safety professionals, and those interested in becoming safety professionals, advance their careers while earning recognition from the largest public University in the United States.

     

    The Public Sector Fundamentals program was announced recently by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and allows an individual to earn a professional certificate by taking about 68 contact hours of courses from OSHA Training Institute Education Centers throughout the United States. The Western OSHA Education Center at ASU will accept applications for this certificate once required course work is completed and will process the applications through OSHA's Directorate of Training and Education.

     

    Building on the Fundamentals program, ASU's new Specialist program will allow an individual to continue their course work to earn additional recognition. Those in the construction industry wanting to achieve the highest level of recognition in the Professional Certificate Program can continue on to earn a certificate in Advanced Management of Construction Safety. This program requires an applicant to complete courses in safety, risk management and construction management. Working with ASU's Del E. Webb School of Construction has resulted in this cooperative certificate program that will bring the highest level of instruction to participants.

     

    The programs are designed to build on each other to permit an individual to take courses at a pace that fits them while earning advancing recognition along the way. OSHA numbered courses previously taken at other OSHA Training Institute Education Centers can be transferred into the program when you enroll, subject to the terms and conditions of the program.

     

    Flyers and forms for all of these programs are now available on the Western OSHA Education Center's web site at http://osha.asu.edu. Those interested in the Public Sector Fundamentals certificate program can apply any time after completing the required courses. Those interested in the Specialist or Advanced Management Professional Certificate programs should go to the web site to download more information on enrolling in those programs.

  • 26 Sep 2013 8:20 AM | Jim Rogers

    The Del E. Webb School of Construction Programs (DEWSC) hosted its first Vesting Ceremony on September 4, 2013, in the Carson Ballroom at Old Main on the Tempe campus. The ceremony, sponsored by the Bechtel Corporation, provided students the opportunity to receive a personalized safety vest and safety glasses – their first pieces of Personal Protective Equipment from ASU – and to be a part of a new tradition for the construction school. Read on Full Circle

     

     

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