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Is your site OSHA compliant?

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by digger242j, Aug 5, 2004.

?

Is your excavation site OSHA compliant?

  1. Yes, every day, in every way.

    2 vote(s)
    7.7%
  2. An inspector might be able to nitpick a few things, but we do things safely.

    16 vote(s)
    61.5%
  3. An inspection would be a costly experience for the company, but hopefully nobody is going to get ser

    6 vote(s)
    23.1%
  4. Work on my site and you're taking your life in your hands.

    2 vote(s)
    7.7%
  1. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    Sort of a companion poll to the one I posted about OSHA "Competent Person" training--If you've had the training, is your worksite OSHA compliant? More specifically, could you as the designated "competent person" relax while OSHA inspected your site, knowing full well that they would not be able to find anything in violation of regulations?

    As in the other poll, simply answering the poll question is anonymous. If anyone cares to reply to the thread more specifically I'm sure we'd all be interested in what's going on at your site, but that will be there under your username for everybody to read... :cool2
     
  2. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    This is the first I've heard of the "competant person" title. We used to get 1 day OSHA seminars at the construction company I worked for, they would get a break on their insurance in exchange.

    At the fire dept., we're required to receive annual OSHA safety training in order to remain a member.

    I try my best to keep the jobsites safe, but sometimes we can't follow the letter of the law.
     
  3. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    I wondered if everyone would even be familiar with the term, let alone know about the requirement. Until somebody actually said they were unfamiliar with the requirement I was just gonna be lazy and not bother to provide more specific information.

    From the OSHA website:

    "The term "Competent Person" is used in many OSHA standards and documents. As a general rule, the term is not specifically defined. In a broad sense, an OSHA competent person is an individual who, by way of training and/or experience, is knowledgeable of applicable standards, is capable of identifying workplace hazards relating to the specific operation, is designated by the employer, and has authority to take appropriate actions (see 1926.32). Some standards add additional specific requirements which must be met by the competent person.... "


    And the specific OSHA regulation that defines what the "Competent Person" is required to do on the excavation site:

    "1926.651(k)(1)

    Daily inspections of excavations, the adjacent areas, and protective systems shall be made by a competent person for evidence of a situation that could result in possible cave-ins, indications of failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres, or other hazardous conditions. An inspection shall be conducted by the competent person prior to the start of work and as needed throughout the shift. Inspections shall also be made after every rainstorm or other hazard increasing occurrence. These inspections are only required when employee exposure can be reasonably anticipated. "


    So, what this boils down to is that, on any excavation site there *must* be an individual who has been formally trained to identify conditions that are contrary to OSHA regulations, and that person has to be able to shut the job down until everything is brought into compliance. Furthermore, it's my understanding that even though the description given above says, "by way of training and/or experience", that experience alone is not sufficient--the individual must have gone to a class of some kind to be accepted as the "competent person".


    BTW, (since you never know who might be lurking these kinds of websites), if there's anybody here from OSHA I think it would be a wonderful thing if you'd speak up and say so. I know there are a number of questions that I'd want to ask, because there are always gray areas in the way things might be interpreted that can be clarified through discussion.

    I'll acknowledge that there's a "risk of exposure to a hazardous atmosphere" because I do think there's a sort of adversarial feeling between people who work in the industry (any industry actually), and the people who are charged with enforcing the rules that govern that industry. I also believe (and think you believe too), that everyone could benefit if some of that adversarial feeling went away. You might need to be a little thick-skinned, but I think I can speak for all of the moderators when I promise we won't let you get too badly beaten up.
    :)
     
  4. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    In this area, a "Competant Person" would be called a "Safety Officer". Many larger corporations have them, not so much at smaller companies.
     
  5. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    I didn't give a whole lot of information in my previous post--apparently not enough to make the regulation clear anyway.

    To elaborate--If I have one single employee on my payroll, and that employee sets foot in an excavation, or for that matter even stands close enough to the edge of the hole to fall into it, one of the two of us is *required* to meet that competent person standard, and perform those duties. Otherwise an OSHA inspector could find me in violation of the regs. It's the fact that we're engaged in excavation that makes it a requirement, not the size of the operation.

    Now, how strictly the letter of the law is enforced is probably up to the judgement of the agency, but unless I'm misinformed, the law is quite specific.

    I imagine in a larger company the "saftey officer" would be the one responsible for seeing that there is a competent person on each jobsite, and that they are performing the duties of the position.
     
  6. Paul

    Paul Charter Member

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    Most states have a construction counsel that offers training in this area. You can also go here and find out more information on these classes. http://www.buildsafe.org/home.htm
     
  7. dumptruck

    dumptruck Member

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    crazy question but whats OSHA ?
     
  8. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    It's the Occupational Saftey and Health Administration. They're the governmental agency in charge of making sure that everyone's workplace is safe. They have inspectors who can come to your workplace, whether it's a construction site, factory, fast food place, or any other kind of business, and check to see whether their regulations are being followed. If they find a violation, you can be fined. If an employee actually gets sickened or injured by something that happens in the workplace they can investigate and the penalties for those kinds of things can be pretty severe.
     
  9. dumptruck

    dumptruck Member

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    Thanks digger242j. thats my something new for the day:)
     
  10. 544D10

    544D10 Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Lucas & Mercier Construction Co.
    Location:
    Oceanside, CA
    Let see on my job two week ago we had:

    1 framer fell 27 feet off of the 3rd floor
    Stair guy shot a nail thru his finger
    Roof nailer nailed his foot to the foof
    1 broken finger
     
  11. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    544D10, how many guys are working that job?
     
  12. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Senior Member

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    I think he is down to one now.
     
  13. 544D10

    544D10 Well-Known Member

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    That was just employees from our company, not any of the other subs.

    This job is 16 buildings all 3-story.

    I would guess on a common day there are around 100-150 people on the site.
     
  14. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    Seems like a pretty high ratio of injuries there. Is OSHA training required out your way?
     
  15. 544D10

    544D10 Well-Known Member

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    For me as an opperator; Yes we are certified and liscensed.

    The large majority of injuries come from non-Union trades. Being in souther California you can image the turn over rate on some of these jobs; new people come and go every week.

    From everyting that I have seen I have concluded that it is a lack of basic commen sense that is the cause of most injuries.
     
  16. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    Common sense seems to be the basis of OSHA training, I have to go through it annually at the fire dept. I'm not sure how effective it really is, can you actually teach someone common sense?
     
  17. FMD

    FMD Well-Known Member

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    Being new to this site, I was lurking on some past posts and this one got me thinking from a past post I commented on in regards to trenching.

    It would be interesting to see how many members here has had any CP training? I had fall protection, scaffolding, confined space and trenching.


    Are there any qualified persons out on this forum?
     
  18. Dwan Hall

    Dwan Hall Senior Member

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    God I love been a 1 man show. Makes everything so simple.
    Doesn't mater how safe a Site is someone can find something wrong if they want to.
     
  19. FMD

    FMD Well-Known Member

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    But would you not agree that training and experiance makes for a safer work site.

    I think it is important to know what you dont know.
     
  20. ValleyFirewood

    ValleyFirewood Senior Member

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    EXACTLY.

    Oh your spotter was 6" too far one way, oh you didn't beep 3 times before backing up the pickup, etc, etc, etc. Oh you farted a little too much toward the left cheek. Have had a few inspectors like that.

    Dunno what CP is but I was in the Air Force for 12 years working on explosives. We had TONS of traning. HAZ MAT, HAZ WHOPPER, Dangerous good handling and shipping, forklift safety, truck driver courses, spotter courses, safe lifting (with hoise/crane) courses, ISO inspection... pretty much everything down to how to run a toilet scrubber and broom.

    And yes, some of that stuff was handy. I am a much better advocate for PPE now, used to thing most of it was cumbersome or stupid. When I bring on a new guy I tell him the PPE needed for the job and I buy him gear. If he doesn't wear it, he goes home.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013