Today, the U.S. Departement of Labor’s OSHA announced that it is seeking to team up with local bulding inspectors in an effort to increase safety and avoid serious accidents and fatalities on construction sites.  The pilot program seeks to partner OSHA with building inspector teams in the following 11 cities:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Concord, New Hampshire
  • Greenwood Village, Colorado
  • Madison, Mississippi
  • Atlanta Metropolitan area, Georgia
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Oakland, California
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wichita, Kansas

In a letter sent to the mayors of the selected cities, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis proposed that OSHA train local building inspectors about the four leading causes of death at construction sites (i.e., falls, electrocution, being crushed or caught between objects, or being struck by moving machinery or objects).  During  building inspections, the local teams would then report unsafe work conditions to OSHA, who would then perform a Federal safety inspection.

While the pilot program seeks a laudible goal of safety on construction sites, it will be interesting to see the interplay between the local and federal officials.  In addition, there may be overlap with state OSHA agencies if the program expands to other locations.  In the end, the true success of the program will be the avoidance of fatalities on construction sites.

Hat Tip to fellow construction litigator, co-defense counsel, and sometimes opposing counsel Marisa Combs for the OSHA news link.