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7 Nov, 2019

OSHA Top Ten Standard Violations for 2019

2019-11-11T14:58:08-06:00November 7th, 2019|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

OSHA’s fiscal year ended earlier this fall and OSHA published its annual Top Ten violations for 2019.  It is striking that the most common violations for this year are the same from last year and the Top five have not changed for 5 years.  Because the Top 10 represent the most frequently cited standards, they are a good place to start for employers to identify hazards in their workplace. Here is [...]

16 Apr, 2019

OSHA’s Defense of Unpreventable Misconduct

2019-04-15T08:04:13-05:00April 16th, 2019|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA, Penalty|

Employees do the darnedest things.  But, you’d hope they wouldn’t do them in front of an OSHA inspector.  Isn’t there some way you can defend your company against an OSHA citation and penalty when there is truly no defense to the employee’s misconduct?  Well, there is—the “unpreventable employee misconduct defense” may be of help, but only if you meet the four elements necessary for the defense.  As you will read, [...]

11 Apr, 2019

General Contractors Can Be Liable for Subcontractors’ OSHA Violations

2019-04-11T14:28:39-05:00April 11th, 2019|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

OSHA has long held the opinion that general contractors may be held liable for subcontractor’s OSHA violations and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, overseeing the Midwest, has agreed since 2009. To combat this risk, general contractors would be well served to incorporate targeted indemnity provisions into their subcontracts that require subcontractors to pay for all claims and costs associated with subcontractor caused OSHA violations. OSHA’s Multi-Employer Policy OSHA’s Multi-Employer [...]

16 Nov, 2015

The Secret to an OSHA Inspection

2018-04-23T23:55:09-05:00November 16th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

Wouldn’t it be nice to know ahead of time what an OSHA inspector will be looking for when he comes to your work site?  Well, I know the secret.  And, it’s not really a secret.  Just look at OSHA’s top ten citation standards and it becomes quite clear. In 2015, OSHA’s top ten most frequently cited violations are: Fall protection (C) Hazard communication Scaffolding (C) Respiratory protection Lockout/tagout Powered industrial trucks Ladders [...]

21 Sep, 2015

Workplace Safety–the Unpreventable Employee Misconduct Defense

2018-04-23T23:55:10-05:00September 21st, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

I just attended an Associated Builders and Contractors meeting during which Lueder Construction discussed a fatality on one of its worksite.  OSHA fully investigated the incident and did not issue a single citation.  This is a testament to the safety plan and training Lueder had in place well before this incident.  One defense to an OSHA citation is unpreventable employee misconduct.  However, proving this defense requires substantial planning, well before an [...]

10 Aug, 2015

OSHA Issues New Rules on Injury Record Keeping

2018-04-23T23:55:10-05:00August 10th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

On July 28, 2015, OSHA issued proposed rules seeking to clarify an employer’s ongoing obligation to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injuries and illness.  The new rules were drafted in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals decision in AKM LLC, d/b/a Volks Constructors v. Secretary of Labor, in which a contractor successfully argued that OSHA’s citation was issued well beyond the six month limitation period. OSHA’s Injury [...]

22 Jul, 2015

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Confined Spaces Rules

2018-04-23T23:55:10-05:00July 22nd, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

In a recent Trade Release OSHA announced 60-day delay in enforcing the new Confined Spaces in Construction standard.  Here is my earlier blog on the new standard.  Full enforcement will not begin until October 2, 2015. During this 60-day temporary enforcement period, OSHA will not issue citations to employers who make good faith efforts to comply with the new standard. Employers must be in compliance with either the training requirements of [...]

18 May, 2015

New OSHA Regulations on Confined Spaces in Construction

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00May 18th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

On May 1, OSHA announced its final rules for construction workers in confined spaces.  The Final Rules, which will take effect August 3, 2015, will require more comprehensive training , with the goal of providing construction workers the same or similar protections as employees in manufacturing and general industry. The final rule will cover confined spaces such as: Crawl spaces Manholes Tanks Sewers The final rule will require the following: Confined [...]

1 Mar, 2015

Can General Contractors Make Subcontractors Pay for OSHA Violations?

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00March 1st, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

OSHA has long held the opinion that general contractors may be held liable for subcontractor’s OSHA violations and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, overseeing the Midwest, has agreed since 2009. To combat this risk, general contractors would be well served to incorporate targeted indemnity provisions into their subcontracts that require subcontractors to pay for all claims and costs associated with subcontractor caused OSHA violations. OSHA’s Multi-Employer Policy OSHA’s Multi-Employer [...]

10 Dec, 2014

OSHA’s New Severe Injury and Fatality Reporting Requirements, Are You Ready?

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00December 10th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

Last September, OSHA announced its final rules for reporting severe injuries and fatalities. The new rules take effect on January 1, 2015. Are you ready? OSHA The New Rule Requirements OSHA’s severe injury and fatality reporting requirements apply to all employers covered by OSHA, not just those with 10 or more employees. All employee work-related fatalities must be reported within 8 hours of the death. The previous rule [...]

11 Jun, 2014

Improve Your Safety Program, Improve OSHA Compliance

2018-04-23T23:55:14-05:00June 11th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

I recently came across an article in Construction Executive, by Edwin Foulke, listing 13 ways to improve your OSHA compliance record. Mr. Foulke is a prolific writer and presenter on occupational safety and health issues, and author of the Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog  You can find a copy of his article here. Although Mr. Foulke’s article mentions 13 actions that can improve your OSHA compliance, a few of [...]

24 Sep, 2013

Sweeps Week for OSHA

2018-04-23T23:55:16-05:00September 24th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

OSHA has a sweeps week. Who knew? For two weeks during the year, OSHA inspectors blitz Omaha and greater Nebraska work sites to make sure OSHA’s safety programs are being observed. Unfortunately, we don’t know which week OSHA will conduct its sweep. Darwin Craig, Area Director for OSHA, spoke at the Associated Builders and Contractors lunch meeting this month. Mr. Craig discussed OSHA’s various procedures and emphasis programs. Below are [...]

11 Dec, 2012

OSHA Seeks Comments on Construction Industry Standards

2012-12-11T08:00:55-06:00December 11th, 2012|OSHA|

Well, that didn't take long. On the heels of the election, , the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it was issuing a Request for Information to initiate the fourth phase of its Standards Improvement Project. This project, called SIP-IV, seeks comments from the construction industry to improve and streamline existing OSHA construction standards by removing or revising requirements that are confusing, outdated, or inconsistent with other standards. The last [...]

3 Apr, 2012

OSHA Extends Residential Fall Protection Transition to September, 2012

2012-04-03T07:38:13-05:00April 3rd, 2012|OSHA|

As you may recall, OSHA issued a new compliance guideline for residential construction in December, 2010. This new guidelines required guard rail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems for all workers engaged in residential construction six feet or more above lower levels. Not surprisingly, the new guideline created significant controversy among many residential contractors and contractors/builders associations. Shortly after this announcement, OSHA issued a phase-in period, in [...]

17 Nov, 2011

OSHA is Still Slapping Companies with Big Fines

2011-11-17T15:05:07-06:00November 17th, 2011|Nebraska Construction, OSHA, Penalty|

Last month, OSHA visited America’s Fiberglass Animals in Minden for a follow-up visit. To put it lightly, the follow-up visit did not go well. OSHA slapped America’s Fiberglass Animals with nearly $170,000.00 in penalties. This hefty penalty certainly makes me wonder how you are doing in your OSHA compliance. Here is a breakdown of the penalties. They fell into three categories: • $63,000.00 related to fines for failure to abate [...]

6 Jul, 2011

If you didn’t think OSHA regulations were a big deal . . .

2011-07-06T11:48:00-05:00July 6th, 2011|OSHA, Penalty|

For those of you who have been following the Robert Knapp/Equitable Building saga in Des Moines, it appears to have finally come to an end. By way of background, Mr. Knapp was accused of violating the Clean Air Act and a number of OSHA regulations when he had employees remove asbestos without wearing appropriate protective equipment. Mr. Knapp agreed to pay of $500,000.00 fine for regulatory violations. Mr. Knapp also [...]

11 May, 2011

OSHA Holds True on its Promise to Increase Penalties

2011-05-11T13:43:57-05:00May 11th, 2011|Construction Law, OSHA, Penalty|

I’m sure you all recall OSHA’s big press release last year when it announced revisions to its penalty framework to increase penalties.  Well, OSHA is now using the revised framework and the penalties are stiff.    A review of OSHA penalties in Region 7, covering Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, shows significant penalties.  A stucco company in Kansas was fined $147,000 for two repeat and one serious violation where employees [...]

2 May, 2011

Calling Contractors, Subcontractors and Builders

2011-05-02T15:23:33-05:00May 2nd, 2011|Construction Contracts, Employee Eligibility, OSHA, Public Contracts|

Welcome to Lamson, Dugan and Murray’s Construction Law blog. Here, we’ll be posting articles on a wide variety of construction related topics, including contracts, liens, dispute resolution, employee problems, insurance coverage, and updates on Nebraska and Iowa law and statutes. We hope that you find our articles beneficial to your business, and if you have a topic you’d like us to write on, drop us a line and we can [...]