OSHA releases safety and health program guidelines for the construction industry

December 5, 2016

Washington – OSHA has released Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction in an effort to help employers in the industry – particularly those in small and medium-sized businesses – improve workplace safety.

The agency released recommended practices for general industry employers in October, the first such update in nearly 30 years. The separate resource for construction, released Dec. 1, is intended to addresses unique issues in the industry, OSHA administrator David Michaels said.

The practices are advisory and do not establish legal obligations, OSHA states. They are derived from “best-in-class programs” and emphasize worker involvement and continuous improvement. Developing a safety program with worker involvement can provide additional benefits, such as greater productivity, improved morale and a better professional reputation, according to the agency.

The practices also account for modern conditions in the industry, including new materials, equipment and techniques; more diversity among workers; more temporary and contract workers; and an increased risk for occupational musculoskeletal disorders resulting from a sedentary lifestyle and aging workers.

“The recommendations outlined in this document will help contractors prevent injuries and illnesses on their construction sites and make their companies more profitable,” Michaels said in a press release.