Concrete Products

JUL 2014

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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8 • JuLY 2014 www.concreteproducts.com From the Associated Builders & Contractors … In its latest semiannual regulatory agenda, the Occupational Safety and Health Administra- tion lists a host of Obama administration priorities plus rulemakings agency officials will address this year or in early 2015. Confined Spaces OSHA plans to release a final rule in August. The agency issued a rule in the early 1990s to protect employees who enter confined spaces for the general industry, but did not extend it to construction because of the unique characteristics of the industry's worksites. A 2007 set- tlement forced OSHA to issue a separate proposed rule for construc- tion workers in confined spaces. ABC and other construction groups weighed in on the proposal, arguing that OSHA had not demonstrat- ed that the general industry standard was not working for construc- tion, and stated that the adoption of the proposed rule would actu- ally reduce employee safety rather than increase it. The association recommended that OSHA incorporate existing standards instead of adopting a new standard. Electronic Recordkeeping OSHA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in November 2013 that would require employers to submit specific injury and illness data electronically on a quarterly or annual basis, figures then posted in an online publicly searchable database. Under the rule, establish- ments with 250 or more employees will be required to submit injury and illness records on a quarterly basis to OSHA. Establishments with 20 or more employees in industries with high injury and illness rates (construction), will be required to submit a summary of their work-re- lated injuries and illnesses electronically once a year. ABC and more than 900 members requested the agency withdraw the proposed rule. The association pointed out that the proposed rule exceeds the authority Congress delegated to OSHA and does nothing to achieve a stated agency goal of reducing injuries and illnesses. In addition, employer groups and the ABC-led Coalition for Workplace Safety expressed serious concerns over the proposal in writing and at an OSHA public meeting. The agency plans to issue a final rule in March 2015. Silica Exposure OSHA issued a proposed rule in September 2013 that would drasti- cally lower the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of crystalline silica for the construction industry. The proposal also would require con- tractors to implement engineering controls and follow several "ancil- lary" provisions, such as exposure monitoring, medical surveillance and the establishment of regulated areas. ABC and more than 600 members submitted comments to OSHA requesting it withdraw the proposal. ABC and the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) pointed out in the comments that the agency has not met its burden of demonstrating that the proposal is technologically and economi- cally feasible. In addition, the ABC-led CISC testified in a March public hearing. OSHA is allowing those who participated in the hearing to submit post-hearing comments by July 18. Continued on page 10 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AGENCIES OSHA OUTLINES AMBITIOUS AGENDA THROUGH YEAR'S END Made in the USA for the way we work! theamconveyors.com 800-635-6729 Add a THEAM conveyor to your fl eet. Control your hard-to-reach placing challenges. Provide the one man, one machine solution. Effi cient. Fast. Convenient. Within your reach! POWER UP PLACING PROFITS

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