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OSHA has issued a Temporary Enforcement Policy for Construction Work in Confined Spaces. A copy of the document can be found here:

Please remember that the new Confined Spaces in Construction standard goes into effect on August 3, 2015 for work on Federal property. Virginia is in the process of revising their standard and it has to have an effective date of no later than January 3, 2016 for work in Virginia not on federal property.


OSHA has issued five letters of interpretation regarding record-keeping for injuries. They cover commuting in a company vehicle, injury while on travel, restricted work, and injuries on Coast Guard inspected vessels. Click on the links below to view the letters of interpretation.

Commuting in company vehicle

Loss of sight or teeth

Restricted work

Injured while on travel

Injured on Coast Guard Inspected Vessel



On Monday, May 4, 2015, OSHA issued the final standard for Confined Spaces in Construction. The new standard applies to all construction work with the following exceptions: excavations; underground construction; and diving. The standard assigns responsibilities to facility owners, general contractors, and subcontractors. The final rule has an effective date of August 3, 2015.

Please note that the effective date only applies to work on federal property. Virginia has six months following the effective date to determine what changes need to be made to the Virginia unique standard covering confined space in construction work.

We are in the process of updating our confined space training to comply with the new federal OSHA standard. We also working on an update class that should take no more than 1 to 2 hours.

Click here for the new standard.


The December 1, 2014 issue of the Virginia Register contains notice that there will be a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the licensing regulations that will create two classifications of contractors – Commercial Building Contractors and Residential Building Contractors.  The amendment will require contractors to have both licensees if they perform work on commercial and residential properties.  The Residential Building Contractor license is defined as “those individuals whose contracts include construction, remodeling, repair, improvement, removal, or demolition on real property owned, controlled, or leased by another person of dwellings and townhouses, including accessory buildings or structures on such property. The RBC classification does not provide for electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or gas fitting services and does not allow construction, removal, repair, or improvement to commercial, industrial, institutional, or governmental use structures outside of dwellings and townhouses, except for the repair or improvement to dwelling units within commercial buildings.”  It goes on to say that the classification includes, but is not limited to, the following functions carried out by the following specialties for contracts of dwellings and town houses and related accessory use buildings or structures: Concrete contracting, Home Improvement contracting, Landscape Service contracting, Masonry contracting, Painting and Wallcovering contracting, Roofing contracting, and Swimming Pool contracting.

Click here for the complete proposal and details of the hearing.


Federal OSHA has issued several interpretations that may be of importance to you.  First they have determined that when an employee is given a prescription medication as a result of an on the job injury, the treatment of the injury is considered to be medical treatment beyond first aid for OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes.  OSHA stated that this is because prescription medications are powerful substances that can only be prescribed by a licensed health care professional. Click here to see the letter of interpretation.

The second interpretation involves the setup of cranes.  The question was does assembly/disassembly include any part that requires a bolt or pin to connect, including pinning/bolting outrigger floats/pads and swing away extensions.  OSHA responded that generally it does not.  The stated that this type of operation is included under setup and is not assembly.  Click here to see the letter of interpretation.


Federal OSHA has issued a revision to 29 CFR 1904, Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.  The major changes came in § 1904.39, Reporting fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye as a result of work-related incidents to OSHA.  The first change, as the title of 1904.39 indicates, is the requirement to report amputations and losses of an eye.  OSHA defines “amputation” as follows:

“An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part.  Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss, medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage, amputations of body parts that have since been reattached.  Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth.”

OSHA, beginning January 1, 2015, will require notification of in-patient hospitalization of one (this is a change from the previous 3 or more employees) or more employees or an employee’s amputation or an employee’s loss of an eye as a result of a work-related incident within 24 hours of the incident.  OSHA defines in-patient hospitalization as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.  It does not include admission for observation or diagnostic testing.

Virginia has up to 6 months to revise their standards to incorporate these changes.

Click here for a copy of the preamble and changes.


OSHA issued several new rules today. They cover the standards for power generation, transmission, and distribution. Additionally there is a new 1926.97 that covers electrical protective equipment. The standard for power generation, transmission, and distribution, 1926 Subpart V, covers the erection of new electric transmission and distributionlines and equipment, and the alteration, conversion, and improvement of existing electric tranismission and distribution lines and equipment.

The standard for electrical protective equipment, 1926.97, will apply to rubber insulating blankets, rubber insulating matting, rubber insulatin covers, rubber insulating line hose, rubber insulating glaoves, and rubber insulating sleeves that may be required or used in all areas of construction.

Click here for the new standards.


OSHA has issued a proposed rule covering that will cover exposure to Silica in the construction industry.  They are accepting comments on the proposed rule until December 11, 2013.  This rule would require exposure monitoring of employees that are possibly exposed to airborne silica.  Some of the operations that OSHA believed may be exposed are use of masonry saws, tuck-pointing, use of jackhammers and rotary hammers or drills, drywall finishing, and use of heavy equipment during earthmoving.  The rule would establish a PEL of 50 µg/m3 as averaged over 8 hours and an Action Level of 25 µg/m3 as averaged over 8 hours.  Where employees are found to be exposed above the action level additional monitoring will be required.  Where exposure is above the PEL regulated areas, respirators, and protective clothing would be required.  It is strongly recommended that you review the proposed regulation and provide any comments you may have on the proposal.

Click here for the proposed standard.


OSHA recently held a stakeholders meeting concerning the crane in construction rules.  As a result of the meeting they have announced that they will propose an extension in the compliance date for the training requirement for crane operators.  Currently crane operators must be trained by 10 November 2014.  OSHA said that they are going to propose that the date be changed to 10 November 2017.  To see OSHA’s news release and the notes from the stakeholders meeting please follow this link:


Virginia has issued changes to the Rules for the Enforcement of the Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act.  The changes include requiring an emergency notification to meet the definition of an emergency; changed the marking requirements for duct structures and conduits; provided additional requirements for marking areas where marks could be destroyed; provided requirements for notification of an unmarked utility; added operator’s responsibilities for abandoned utility lines; added new requirements delineating specific location of a proposed excavation or demolition; and added the requirement that excavators shall call 911 in the event there is damage to an underground utility line that results in the escape or any flammable, toxic hazardous, or corrosive gas or liquid.  These changes went into effect on October 1, 2012.  The full text of these changes can be seen by clicking here.


The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry incorporated several recent changes made by OSHA to their regulations.  The regulations changed include Hazard Communication; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Cranes and Derricks in Construction; and the use of slings for General Industry, Shippyard Employment, and Construction.  The Virginia changes have an effective date of January 1, 2012.  Please note that where Federal OSHA has jurisdiction, these changes are already in effect.  A copy of these changes can be seen by clicking here.


OSHA has requested input on two proposed standards.  They are Reinforced Concrete in Construction and Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities.  OSHA has included information of the types of injuries received in these areas and is requesting that interested parties to provide information that will assist them in determining what steps, if any, it can take t0 prevent injuries and fatalities in these two areas.

RFI on Reinforced Concrete in Construction & Backover Injuries


OSHA issued their new Hazard Communication Standard on March 26, 2012.  In addition to the Hazard Communication standard they revised a whole host of other standards.  There are several effective dates for the standards.  The Hazard Communication standard requires the employees be trained in the new label elements and safety data sheets format by December 1, 2013 and labeling and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and provide any additional training for newly identified hazards by June 1, 2016.  Chemical manufacturers have until June 1, 2015 to get their SDS and product labeling in compliance with the new standard.

We will be developing a short training course that will meet the training that must be completed by December 1, 2013 and will let you know when it is available.  We will also be reviewing the changes to the other standards to determine if any actions are required.

HAZ-COM Final Rule


OSHA issued Phase III of their Standards Improvement Project on June 8, 2011.  The biggest thing we see that will impact you is a new requirement that all rigging equipment have permanently affixed and legible identification markings as prescribed by the manufacturer that indicate the recommended safe working load of the sling.  The change eliminates the tables in 1926.251 that have provided safe working loads and covers general industry, shipyard, and construction.  The change includes wire rope, natural and synthetic fiber rope slings, and shackles.  For work on Federal Property this goes into effect July 8, 2011.  Virginia, an OSHA Plan State, has 6 months to implement it for work covered by Virginia OSH Standards. 

Other standards that were changed to some degree or another cover respiratory protection, lead physicals, cadmium, benzene, bloodborne pathogens, 1,3-butadiene, chemical hygiene in laboratories, sanitation, and asbestos.  All of the changes have the July 8, 2011 effective date.

Standards Improvement Project - Phase III


As of January 20, 2011, Virginia had not accepted the new Federal OSHA policy on extreme penalties for severe violators.  It is our understanding that Virginia is in discussions with many other “OSHA state plans” to determine their options for following or not following this policy. This means that until the Federal policy is accepted or Virginia adopts a policy that is at least equal to the Federal policy it is not in effect in areas that where VOSH has juridiction. Virginia has juridiction over all public and private sector places of employment in the state, with the exception of federal employees, the United States Postal Service, private sector maritime, federal military facilities, and other federal enclaves where the state has ceded jurisdiction to the federal government.

OSHA's SVEP focuses enforcement efforts on employers who willfully and repeatedly endanger workers by exposing them to serious hazards. The directive establishes procedures and enforcement actions for the severe violator program, including increased inspections, such as mandatory follow-up inspections of a workplace found in violation and inspections of other worksites of the same company where similar hazards or deficiencies may be present.

The Federal program is intended to focus enforcement efforts on employers who have demonstrated recalcitrance or indifference to their OSH Act obligations by committing willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe situation; in industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards; exposing workers to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals; and all egregious enforcement actions.

In other actions the Codes Board adopted the federal standard §§1926.1400 through 1926.1442 in full without changes.  The Virginia effective date will be April 15, 2011.
A link to the final federal rule is found below the 7/28/10 entry.

Click here for the Federal OSHA Directive on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program



Federal OSHA issued a press release today that the final rule for Cranes and Derricks in Construction will be published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2010.  The rule covers power-operated equipment, when used in construction, that can hoist, lower and horizontally move a suspended load.  Please note that power shovels, excavator, wheel loaders, backhoes, loader backhoes, and track loaders are specifically exempted from the new standard.

Click here for the new standard



Federal OSHA has revised their previous guidance on the use of Hi-Viz garments for workers working in highway/roadway construction work zones.  Previously they had stated that Hi-Viz garments were required only when required by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.  The revised guidance requires that all workers in highway/road construction work zones wear Hi-Viz garments.  OSHA cites the General Duty Clause (Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, 29 U.S.C. §654(a)(1)) as the basis for the interpretation.

Click here for the interpretation



The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has issued another Virginia unique regulation.  It modifies the OSHA regulation that covers back up alarms on construction and general industry vehicles found in 1926.601, 1926.602, 1926.952, and 1910.269.  The new regulation goes into effect September 18, 2009.  Virginia DLI has established a web page with the new regulation and training cards that can be printed.  The new regulation does require training of drivers and observers.  DLI states that they will issue warnings for the training requirements between September 18 and October 18.  You should note that as a Virginia unique regulation it is enforceable only by Virginia DLI on job sites where they have jurisdiction.

Click here for the Virginia DLI web page.



The Commonwealth of Virginia issued an amendment to the regulation concerning Licensed Asbestos Contractor Notification, Asbestos Project Permits, and Permit Fees (16VAC25-20-10) on December 22, 2008.  The stated intent of the amendment is to clear up confusion concerning roofing, flooring and siding materials that contain asbestos.  The amendment revised the definition of “Asbestos Project”.  The new definition states that “Asbestos Project means an activity involving job set-up for containment, removal, encapsulation, enclosure, encasement, renovation, repair, construction or alteration of an asbestos-containing material. An asbestos project or asbestos abatement project shall not include nonfriable asbestos-containing roofing, flooring and siding material that when installed, encapsulated or removed does not become friable.”

 Amendment to 16VAC25-20-10




OSHA has issued a proposed rule that will cover cranes and derricks in construction.  OSHA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until December 8, 2008.  The rule, as written, does not apply to power shovels, excavators, wheel loaders, backhoes, loader backhoes, or track loaders.  These pieces of equipment are also excluded when used with chains, slings, or other rigging to lift suspended loads.

It is recommended that those organizations that use hoisting, other than those listed above, review the proposed rule to determine any potential impact on their operations and make comments to OSHA as appropriate.  One area that should be looked at closely is Section 1926.1427, operator qualification and certification.  The proposed rule requires operators of hoisting equipment, other than derricks, sideboom cranes, and equipment with a rated capacity of2,000 pounds or less, to be certified by an independent third party.

29 CFR Part 1926 Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Proposed Rule



The Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed revision to 40 CFR Part 745 that deals with the fees for accreditations of training programs and certification of lead-based paint activities and renovation contractors.  The proposal adjusts the fees that have been in place since 1999.  It reduces the fees for training providers and increases the fees for individuals and firms.



OSHA issued a proposed change to a number of existing standards today.  The stated purpose of the changes is to clarify OSHA’s position that where employees are not wearing the required personal protective equipment (PPE) the employer may be cited on a per-employee basis.  That is to say that if OSHA inspected a job site and 5 employees were observed not wearing the required PPE, OSHA could cite it as 5 separate violations instead of one single violation.  OSHA noted that the proposed changes do not add any additional new compliance obligations and employers would not be required to provide any new type of PPE or training beyond what is currently required. 

Proposed Rule: Clarification of Remedy For Violation of Requirements To Provide Personal Protective Equipment and Train Employees



The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Licensing issued a minor change to their asbestos regulations on April 28, 2008.  The change is intended to clarify the area of the regulation covering notifications and Project Monitor responsibilities.

VA Asbestos Regulation Change



A new final rule addressing lead-based paint hazards created by renovation, repair, and painting activities that disturb lead-based paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities was issued on April 22, 2008.  The new rule has an overall effective date of June 23, 2008. 

40 CFR Part 745

Renovate Right - Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools - Pamphlet

The EPA also issued a new pamphlet containing lead hazard information for contractors. 

Contractors Lead Safety During Renovation - Pamphlet

NOTE: This rule does not change any of the requirements or required training found in the OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1926.62 - Lead




Virginia issued their version of the OSHA Personal Protective Equipment Rule in the April 14, 2008 issue of the Virginia Register of Regulations.  It is identical to the Federal rule with the exception of the dates.  The Virginia rule goes into effect on June 1, 2008 with an implementation date of September 1, 2008.  Keep in mind that the Federal dates of February 13, 2008 with an implementation date of May 15, 2008 apply on Federal property and the Virginia dates apply throughout the state on non Federal property. Link: Virginia Register of Regulations




The following are links to these documents:

Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code

Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code




The revisions to the federal OSHA Personal Protective Equipment standards were effective February 13, 2008.  This date only applies to federal property in Virginia.  Since Virginia has responsibility for enforcing the OSHA standards off federal property, they have an additional six months before they have to implement a standard equal or more stringent to the federal standard.  We will let you know when it goes into effect for non-federal job sites in Virginia.

The revision requires employers to pay for all PPE with the following exceptions:

The employer is not required to pay for non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear (including steel-toe shoes or steel-toe boots) and non-specialty prescription safety eyewear, provided that the employer permits such items to be worn off the job-site.

When the employer provides metatarsal guards and allows the employee, at his or her request, to use shoes or boots with built-in metatarsal protection, the employer is not required to reimburse the employee for the shoes or boots.

Everyday clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, long pants, street shoes, and normal work boots; or ordinary clothing, skin creams, or other items, used solely for protection from weather, such as winter coats, jackets, gloves, parkas, rubber boots, hats, raincoats, ordinary sunglasses, and sunscreen.

The revision also states that the employer must pay for replacement PPE, except when the employee has lost or intentionally damaged the PPE.

Links to the standards: General Industry - 29 CFR 1910.132; Shipyard Employment 29 CFR 1915.152; Marine Terminals - 29 CFR 1917.96; Longshoring – 29 CFR 1918.106; and Construction – 29 CFR 1926.95


OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standards in 2007 for Construction

The following were the 10 standards most frequently cited by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry on construction sites in fiscal year 2007 (October 2006 through September 2007)

1.      Scaffolding, General Requirements (29 CFR 1926.451)

2.      Fall Protection, Duty to have (29 CFR 1926.501)

3.      First Aid Kits (29 CFR 1926.50)

4.      Head Protection (29 CFR 1926.100)

5.      Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053)

6.      Hazard Communications (29 CFR 1910.1200)

7.      Electrical Wiring Methods, Components and Equipment for General Use (29 CFR 1926.405)

8.      Wiring Design and Protection (29 CFR 1926.404)

9.      Asbestos (29 CFR 1926.1101)

10.  Excavation, Specific Requirements (29 CFR 1926.651)

Let us help you avoid being cited for these, and other standards, by inspecting your job sites and training your employees in the requirements of the standards.


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