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DLLR's Division of Labor and Industry

 

MOSH Instruction 10-6 - Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) Instructions

 
Subject: Inspection Policy and Procedures for OSHA's Steel Erection Standards for Construction
   
Effective Date: April 30, 2010
   
Issuance Date: May 31, 2010
 
Cancellation: MOSH Instruction 10-5
   
Expiration Date: None
   
Purpose: This Instruction adopts OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-034 (formerly CPL 2-1.34) - Inspection Policy and Procedures for OSHA's Steel Erection Standards for Construction, issued March 22, 2002, and OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-048 - Clarification of OSHA's enforcement policy relating to floors/nets and shear connectors, and which cancels OSHA CPL 02-01-146 (September 30, 2009);

Provides MOSH's inspection policy and procedures and provides clarification to ensure uniform enforcement by MOSH Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) of the steel erection standards for construction;

Provides clarification on MOSH's enforcement policy on the requirements regarding fully planked or decked floors or nets, 29 C.F.R. 1926.754(b)(3); and the use of pre-installed shear connectors during steel erection, 29 C.F.R. 1926.754 (c)(1).
 
Scope: This instruction applies MOSH-wide
   
References: OSHA Instruction (Directive Number) CPL 02-01-034 (formerly CPL 2-1.34) - Inspection Policy and Procedures for OSHA's Steel Erection Standards for Construction, issued March 22, 2002.

OSHA Instruction (Directive Number) CPL 02-01-048 - Clarification of OSHA's enforcement policy relating to floors/nets and shear connectors; Cancellation of CPL 02-01-146 (September 30, 2009).
   
Contact: Chief of MOSH Compliance Services
312 Marshall Avenue, Room 602
Laurel, Maryland 20707
(410) 880-4886 x312
   
By and Under the Authority of: Roger Campbell, Assistant Commissioner
 

Summary:

This Instruction implements MOSH's inspection policy and procedures necessary for uniform enforcement of OSHA's steel erection standard by field personnel; and clarifies enforcement policy regarding fully planked or decked floors or nets, and the use of pre-installed shear connectors during steel erection, which were announced respectively in Questions and Answers #23 and # 25 of OSHA's Instruction CPL 02-01-134 (formerly CPL 2-1.34), issued March 22, 2002.

Significant Changes

OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-148 amends OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-134 (formerly CPL 2-1.34) issued March 22, 2002, as follows:

  1. In Chapter 4, Section V, Structural Steel Assembly, Question and Answer #23, a policy was announced in which a failure to comply with the requirement in 29 C.F.R. 1926.754(b)(3) for a fully planked or decked floor or net was considered a de minimis violation where the employer required that all workers be protected by fall protection. OSHA has rescinded that policy. See below for OSHA's revised Question and Answer #23.
      • Question 23: Section 1926.754(b)(3) requires a "fully planked or decked floor or nets" in multi-story structures within two stories or 30 feet, whichever is less. Section 1926.760 requires workers above 15 feet to be protected from falls, with two exceptions: section 1926.760(b)(3) and (c) allows workers engaged in certain steel erection activities (initial connecting; decking in a Controlled Decking Zone) below 30 feet to work without using fall protection. Can an employer's requirement that all workers be protected by fall arrest systems, including those engaged in connecting and decking, take the place of compliance with the 1926.754(b)(3) floor/net requirement?
      • Answer: While OSHA encourages employers to exceed the fall protection requirements of the standard and have all workers use fall protection, section 1926.754(b)(3) provides additional safeguards. Therefore, such an employer would be required to comply with 1926.754(b)(3). However, compliance staff retains their normal discretion to determine, on a case by case basis, that violations are de minimis where there is no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health, and the employer's use of personal fall protection systems at all times may be a factor in such a determination.
  2. In Chapter 4, Section V, Structural Steel Assembly, Question and Answer #25, a policy was announced in which a failure to comply with the requirement in 29 C.F.R. 1926.754(c)(1) that shear connectors be field-installed after installation of decking would be considered a de minimis violation where the employer required that all workers be protected by fall protection. OSHA has rescinded that policy. See below for OSHA's revised Question and Answer #25.
      • Question 25: If an employer requires the use of fall protection for all workers, including workers engaged in connecting and decking, would the employer still be required to comply with 1926.754(c)(1)-would the employer still be prohibited from erecting beams, joists or beam attachments with shop-installed shear connectors?
      • Answer: While OSHA encourages employers to exceed the fall protection requirements of the standard and have all workers use fall protection, section 1926.754(c)(1) is an engineering control that helps prevent tripping, which helps to prevent injury from falling on a shear connector and helps to prevent falls. Therefore, such an employer would be required to comply with 1926.754(c)(1). However, compliance staff retains their normal discretion to determine, on a case by case basis, that violations are de minimis where there is no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health, and the employer's use of personal fall protection systems at all times may be a factor in such a determination.

NOTE: Phase-in of revision: This revised version of Q and A 25 will not be applied where: (1) the component was fabricated with shear connectors or other similar devices prior to April 30, 2011, or (2) the contract date for fabrication of the component with factory-installed shear connectors or other similar device was prior to April 30, 2011. In all other instances the revised version of Question and Answer #25 is effective April 30, 2010.

OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-148 does not alter any other provisions of OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-134 (formerly CPL 2-1.34), which remains in full force and effect. The revision to Question #23 is effective as of April 30, 2010. The de minimis policy described in the original version of Question and Answer #25 will continue to apply where the component was fabricated with shear connectors or other similar devices prior to May 31, 2011, or where the contract date for fabrication of the component with factory-installed shear connectors or other similar device was prior to April 30, 2011. In all other instances the revised version of Question and Answer #25 is effective May 31, 2010.

Background

Section 1926.754(b)(3) allows an employer to choose among two options for complying with the provision: install either a (fall protection) net or a floor within two stories or 30 feet (whichever is less). These options provide different safety options.

A net provides effective fall protection for workers engaged in certain steel erection activities (initial connecting and decking) who, under 1926.760(b)(3) and (c), are permitted to work without fall protection. It also provides fall protection in the event of non-compliance with the fall requirements in 1926.760.

Although a floor in this context does not provide effective fall protection, it limits the fall distance. Also, unlike a net, a floor "can be used as a staging area for emergence rescue." (See volume 66 of the Federal Register, January 18, 2001, at page 5213.) Finally, another provision, 1926.759(b), requires falling object protection if other construction processes are permitted to work below steel erection activities. The installation of a floor provides such protection and therefore can serve as a means of complying with 1926.759(b).

Section 1926.754(c) is an engineering control design to help prevent tripping, and therefore reduces the risk of injury from falling on a shear connector as well as from falling from structural steel. While it is not a comprehensive method of protecting workers from falls, it is a means of reducing the risk of a fall occurring.

Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities among construction workers, including workers engaged in steel erection. It is important that compliance officers encourage employers to consistently use fall protection at all times for all workers exposed to fall hazards. However, in light of the safety benefits accorded by sections 1926.754(b)(3) and 1926.754(c), it is ordinarily inappropriate to consider the violation of these provisions to be de minimis on the basis that personal protective systems are used. Therefore OSHA revised Questions and Answers #23 and #25 to indicate that the use of 100 percent fall protection is not ordinarily a basis for considering a failure to comply with these provisions as de minimis. However, compliance staff retains their normal discretion to determine, on a case by case basis, that violations are de minimis where there is no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health, and the employer's use of personal fall protection systems at all times may be a factor in such a determination.

Actions:

  1. The Chief of Compliance, or designee, shall ensure that steel erection inspections are conducted in accordance with the policy and procedures contained in OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-034 (formerly CPL 2-1.34) issued March 22, 2002; and MOSH Instruction 10-6, effective April 30, 2010.
  2. Compliance and Consultation Supervisors shall ensure that field personnel are familiar with the contents of this Instruction, OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-034 (formerly CPL 2-1.34) issued March 22, 2002.
     

cc: J. Ronald DeJuliis, Commissioner, Division of Labor and Industry
Craig D. Lowry, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Labor and Industry
Jonathan Krasnoff, Assistant Attorney General
Office of Administrative Hearings

 
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