Occupational Safety and Health Administration and United States

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. It was created by Congress of the United States under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed by President Richard M. Nixon, on December 29, 1970. Its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and occupational fatality by issuing and enforcing rules called standards for workplace safety and health. The agency is headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor. OSHA federal regulations cover most private sector workplaces.

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The OSH Act permits states to develop approved plans as long as they cover public sector employees and they provide protection equivalent to that provided under Federal OSHA regulations. In return, a portion of the cost of the approved state program is paid by the federal government. Twenty-two states and territories operate plans covering both the public and private sectors and five — Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and the US Virgin Islands — operate public employee only plans. In those five states, private sector employment remains under Federal OSHA jurisdiction.

Depending on what kind of construction s taking place, several different aspects of construction safety are very pertinent. For example, first aid and medical care should be a major aspect of any construction. The employer is required to provide first aid on any construction site. This benefits both the employer and employee. The employer is protected against any law suit that may arise for not having medical care on site and the employee protected because further damage can be prevented by having first aid on site.

Personal protection and life saving equipment is also a significant aspect of construction safety. This includes head, ear, and eye protection. There are several things that could be dangerous on a construction site that these types of protection would help with. Falling objects, moving parts, and loud noises can inflict a lot of damage on a person. This damage can be easily prevented by wearing eye, ear, and head protection. Respiratory protection and safety belts and lines are also protection that could prove beneficial on the construction site.

For instance, safety belts would be needed if a high rise building was being constructed. Respiratory protection is needed when underground construction is being performed to protect from harmful gasses that may be emitted. Hazards are very common on a construction site. This makes barricades and accident prevention signs very important. Accident prevention signs shall be visible at all times when work is being performed, and shall be removed or covered promptly when the hazards no longer exist.

They should also be color coded to represent certain types of hazards. Barricades are used mainly for construction where traffic may come into play. They protect workers that may be working in an area where vehicles could possible be a danger. There is a large section of the OSHA standards that deals with tools that are commonly used on a construction site. This section is very important because it governs what tools can be used on a site and how they can be used.

If the tools require a guard, they should only be used when the guard is attached to the tool. The same is required for any welding equipment is being used. Concrete masonry construction has a set of OSHA requirements all to themselves. No construction loads shall be placed on a concrete structure or portion of a concrete structure unless the employer determines, based on information received from a person who is qualified in structural design, that the structure or portion of the structure is capable of supporting the loads.

Also, any reinforcing steel that is exposed needs to be guarded to prevent impalement. This is very important for obvious reasons. This sections of OSHA listed above are all important in the construction industry. They provide safety for the employee as well as a way for the employer to protect themselves. It is important for all of the guidelines provided by OSHA to always be followed. It is for the benefit for everyone involved in the construction industry.

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