TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Friday, January 18, 2002
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999
OSHA STEEL ERECTION STANDARD TAKES EFFECT
The nation's iron workers have enhanced workplace safety protections as a result of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's new steel erection standard, which goes into effect today.
"This standard focuses on the most dangerous hazards in the industry and the hazards posed by evolving work practices and new technologies," said OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw. "This emphasis will help prevent many of the 2,300 unnecessary injuries and 35 fatalities that occur in this industry every year."
This rule is the first OSHA safety standard developed under the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990 and the Department of Labor's negotiated rulemaking policy. Developed in conjunction with industry and union groups, the new rule is expected to save employers nearly $40 million a year.
The new standard improves protection to iron workers by placing special emphasis on the most serious hazards in the steel erection industry. These include hazards associated with working under loads; hoisting, landing and placing decking; column stability; double connections; landing and placing steel joists, and falls to lower levels.
Although the new steel erection requirements are now in effect, OSHA will not conduct general schedule inspections for 60 days, until March 19, 2002. During this period, the agency will emphasize outreach and education to assist the industry in training employees on the new requirements.
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The text of this news release is available on the OSHA website at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this
release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.