New OSHA Clarifications Impact The Masonry Industry
OSHA has had numerous recent rulings and interpretations that have been good for our industry. Just yesterday, they announced further clarification on a COVID interpretation that was released earlier this year. In the earlier interpretation, they stated that if you wrote down temperatures of employees while screening for the day that you needed to keep them for 30 years. In addition, they also stated that any screening paperwork asking about COVID symptoms would also need to be kept for 30 years. The MCAA, through our coalition (Construction Industry Safety Coalition), asked for OSHA to reconsider and to further clarify their ruling (click here to read the letter).
As a result of the request, OSHA further clarified that unless the temperatures or work was being done by a physician, nurse, or other healthcare personnel, that the records did not need to kept for 30 years. This was a nice win for the CISC on the interpretation. We were arguing against the need to comply with the Access to Employees Exposure and Medical Records Standard that they cited as the reason for the original interpretation.
In a separate issue, the MCAA filed again with members of the CISC as an interested party (Amicus Brief) to a court case brought by the AFL CIO to force OSHA to draft an ETS (an emergency standard for dealing with COVID 19) to deal with the impact of COVID on employees. The CISC argued that there was enough guidance and industry cooperation on directives from CDC, and OSHA that a rule was not needed. The courts agreed with OSHA and the CISC and rejected the request from the AFL CIO. The AFL CIO has filed for a rehearing on the ETS. We will see were this ends up over the next few weeks.
In yet another issue, this one related to Beryllium and the rule that included construction into a beryllium rule, the MCAA and some CISC partners had sued OSHA over the process and lack there of process for the inclusion of construction in the beryllium rule. We have been working to settle the case, and movement has been made to help settle the case. We are still early in the process on settlement, but things are looking positive at the time. Look for further details on this as they develop.
About the Author
Jeff Buczkiewicz is the President and CEO of the Mason Contractors Association of America. Jeff has worked in the masonry industry for several years as the Executive Vice President of the Building Stone Institute and the Director of Marketing and Membership for the Mason Contractors Association of America. Jeff has also served as Secretary on the Board of the Natural Stone Council and is a former Board Member of the StonExpo Federation.
OSHA has had numerous recent rulings and interpretations that have been good for our industry. Just yesterday, they announced further clarification on a COVID interpretation that was released earlier this year.