Safety Chair Report - July 27, 2018 The new Safety Technical Panel has fielded a lot of calls and emails about complying with the new Silica Rule. Committee members have individually shared air testing results, video, and best practices with each other to develop best practices for our members. OSHA compliance activities strongly reflect their interest in strict compliance with Table 1 activities, employer air testing (including trainng and calibration of the air testing equipment) and task specific employer control prevention plans.
We have reviewed the updated crane rule, and are concerned about the wording that reinstates the employer duty to ensure that a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment. Under the proposed new rule, the change to the categories of certifications for crane operators would ensure more operators are able to meet the requirement, however, this will increase the responsibility for employers to not only accept a crane operator's certification, but also the evaluate and document their findings. This new rule will enable more crane operators to pass the certification requirements, but it holds the employers responsible at a higher degree to make sure that certification equals competency. OSHA comments were closed on June 20th to addresses the new rule and it is scheduled to go into effect on November 10, 2018 pending any delay.
The Committee chair continues to be actively involved with National AGC Safety Committee to represent Illinois members concerns. We would like to have some type of webinar for members to view to learn more about the updated crane rule and silica activities. OSHA continues to place a high priority on fall protection, especially leading edges on bridge construction. Employers that rely solely on personal fall protection can be cited if they do not consider and employ engineering controls to protect workers, such as using handrails and barriers.
There has been some discussion about having AGC specific tool box talks available to members and re-issuing the safety handbooks for supervisors and craft workers. We published and sold these 2 field pocket books some 15 years ago and there seems to be a need to develop and make these available once again.
2017 PRESENTATION ON UPDATED OSHA SILICA STANDARD On November 15, 2017, Safety Committee Shawn Meier gave a presentation on OSHA's updated silica standard at AGCI's office in Springfield. Below are links to documents used in the presentation: