OMB completes review of proposed OSHA rules on backovers, reinforced concrete

Washington – A proposed OSHA rule addressing steel reinforcing and post-tensioning fields in construction, and another on hazards associated with backing vehicles and equipment, have left the Office of Management and Budget following a review.

OMB concluded its review of the rules March 19, and OSHA is free to proceed with its prerule development, the next step of which is likely to be requesting stakeholder input.

Due to a likely increase in the use of reinforced steel and post-tensioned poured-in-place concrete in commercial and industrial construction, and a lack of rules addressing the hazards, OSHA expects the number of incidents associated with the tasks to rise. At least 31 workers died while performing work on or near post-tensioning operations or reinforcing steel from 2000 to 2009, the agency said.

Regarding the other rule, OSHA cited reports that found more than half of all highway fatalities of workers on foot are due to backing vehicles. More than 350 workers died between 2005 and 2010 due to backing incidents.

The two rules were combined into a single advance notice of proposed rulemaking in an effort to make the public comment process more efficient, OSHA said.

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