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The Many Sides of OSHA

Construction worker with harness fall protection

OSHA -Occupation Safety Health Administration is an arm of the federal government whose main function is to help prevent work-related illness, injury and death. In order to do so, OSHA has the option of enforcing unpopular rules many of which, over the twenty plus years of OSHA's birth, have been the subject of debate.

The major question before the house of common sense being where do you draw the line in the sand between a good regulation and a bad regulation? And in case you missed the memo, its common knowledge in the construction industry that residential and commercial contractor developments are the usual targets for OSHAs don't do that - do this quiver full of arrows.

The Good, the Bad and.. Well that's it

It should be noted that OSHA represents two faces of concern. The good face being that without the continuing work done by the Occupation Safety Health Administration there will always be contractor employers who will ignore regulations and even cheat the system, perhaps leaving the lives and safety of their workers in jeopardy. Also, OSHA has also implemented many helpful programs over the past 20 years and the injuries that these programs have prevented are immeasurable.

The bad face of OSHA is their reputation of under mining contractors and being forceful with their approach. Stories of all kinds of employees from contractors to teachers being border line harassed over their work environment have been spread all over the country.

Who Does OSHA Watch Most?

Construction steel worker with fall protectionWhen it comes to residential and commercial construction and the compliance of OSHA regulations therein, residential will obviously have less restrictive building codes than those commercial developments. However the downside is that with so many varied ways a homeowner or contractor can build a home the workers face a unique page of safety considerations and hazards.

When you take into consideration that nearly 7 million workers in this country are in the employ of the construction industry as a whole, about half of those workers will be in commercial development and half in residential.

Is There any other Way?

When you add into the equation the approximate 40,000 construction worker injuries involving job loss, hours or days away from work, plus possible fatalities, OSHA and the NAHB - National Association of Home Builders, will have their collective plates full.

On the other hand it should be noted here that some states have found a way to stay off the OSHA radar. 25 states, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved state plans, and have adopted their own safety enforcement and standards policies for workers.

Bottom line, get in real friendly with your local OSHA reps, listen to their advice and follow it accordingly to stay in business and keep the income coming.


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Photo credit: gregor_y / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.