Commission: Eyewash standard invalidly applied to construction employer

OSHRC rules Secretary did not have authority to adopt standard for construction industry

Posted October 2, 2018

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) ruled that the Secretary of Labor did not have the authority under section 6(a) of the OSH Act to adopt a “quick-drenching” standard to construction employers without notice-and-comment rulemaking.

At issue was whether the Secretary had the authority under section 6(a) to adopt a “quick-drenching” standard that was originally promulgated under the Walsh-Healey Act and applied only to non-construction employers contracting with the federal government, as an OSHA standard generally applicable to all employers, including those in the construction industry. OSHRC concluded that section 6(a) did not authorize the Secretary to apply the quick-drenching standard to construction employers without notice-and-comment rulemaking.

The case centered around a construction company whose worksite was inspected by OSHA, and was issued a citation alleging a violation of §1926.50(g)—the construction “quick-drenching” provision that requires immediate onsite access to eye/body wash facilities for employees who may be exposed to “injurious corrosive materials.”


OSHA Compliance for Construction Activities ManualJ. J. Keller's OSHA Compliance for Construction Activities Manual explains complex Part 1926 regs in easy-to-understand language.

 

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