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IMPACT Safety and Health Roundtable

July 26 2007
Safety

On the afternoon of July 17th, representatives from across the construction industry sequestered themselves into the board room of the new Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice building on the campus of the University of San Diego to openly discuss the safety and health issues affecting the construction industry today.


First on the agenda was Steven Witt, Director of the Directorate of Construction for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and he spent the next forty-five minutes outlining some of what is taking place at OSHA. Here are some highlights: 



  • The Cranes and Derricks Standard has had four major issues holding it up from being completed, however a proposal should be made available between October and December of this year, and the Standard will in all likelihood be completed by December of 2008.
  • Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health is in the process of filling the seven openings; tentative selections have been made by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin Foulke, Jr. and those nominations are now being reviewed by Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.  The next ACCOSH meeting will be taking place in September.
  • OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) currently there are 48 organizations in Challenge (the construction version of VPP) and 12 of these have graduated
  • Inspections, of those conducted, 58-59% are done in construction
  • Hispanic Workforce has jumped by 25% in the construction industry from 2000 – 2005, and more safety training focused on Spanish speakers is necessary
  • Summit Decision – OSHA is appealing the decision of the 5th Circuit by July 30th to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

Following Mr. Witt on the agenda was James W. Stanley of FDR Safety Consulting, and he provided an executive summary on the environment surrounding the Summit Decision and ultimately believes OSHA’s appeal to the 8th Circuit will fail.  Amy Martin, legal council for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health also provided some input as to what the state of California is doing in regard to the multi-employer citation policy that has come out of the Summit Decision.


IMPACT is currently financing the work of Jim Kegebien an Industrial Hygienist on the case studies he is documenting as he performs air sampling in both the field and shop welding environments on construction sites. Mr. Kegebien gave a presentation on the work he has completed thus far, and informed those in attendance that these would soon be available on the IMPACT website, www.impact-net.org.


Other presentations were made by Beth O’Quin of the Specialized Carriers and Riggers Association (SC&RA) on the progress of the Cranes and Derrick’s Advisory Committee (C-DAC); Graham Brent on the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) on the crane certification process that is being worked on by two task forces; Robert Banks of IMPACT on their national substance abuse program; Roger Ferch of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) on their shop safety program; and Steve Rank and Frank Migliaccio gave a presentation on OSHA’s Compliance Directive for Subpart R – Steel Erection Standard.


TAUC will be representing its membership at the next IMPACT Safety and Health Roundtable meeting which will be held in Washington, DC on December 5th, 2007. If you would like to find out more about this meeting, or would like to potentially volunteer to serve as a TAUC Member Liaison to IMPACT please contact Todd Mustard, Executive Director of Association Services at tmustard@tauc.org or via phone at (703) 524-3336 ext. 112.

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