Employers can expect the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to implement various regulatory initiatives this year that will significantly impact how employers, including construction companies, do business. With President Obama in leadership for another term, many new and stricter workplace safety initiatives and regulations which have been on hold due to last year’s election are now back on the table.
Attorneys who advise and counsel employers in the construction industry need to be aware that 2013 will be another year in which occupational safety and health needs to be addressed considering three of OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited violations are specifically tied to the construction industry — including fall protection, which is one of the most significant violations.
Combine a bigger budget with an increased number of enforcement personnel, and OSHA is as fortified as ever to deal with employers who do not appropriately deal with workplace safety issues. It is anticipated that new regulations, many of which have been in the works for years, will likely come to fruition this year or next.
Heightened enforcement, more citations and increased penalties are a certainty as OSHA ups the ante for employers who are not working safely or ignore safety standards.
Because the construction industry always seems to be in OSHA’s crosshairs, attorneys must advise employers to stay abreast of the latest regulatory agenda. When an employer is cited by OSHA for noncompliance of a workplace safety regulation, claiming lack of knowledge won’t get them very far.
This article appeared on May 9, 2013 on Employment Law360.