AG Advisory on OSHA 10 Law for Public Construction
On August 14,Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office issued an advisory on the law requiring OSHA 10-hour training on public construction projects. The law was passed in 2004, and since that time ABC and other industry trade groups have worked with the attorney general’s office to clarify questions as to its applicability and enforcement. All members should be advised that the OSHA law is now subject to enforcement by the AG’s office and should prepare as outlined below.
“ABC is pleased that the Attorney General’s Office has worked to provide the industry with guidance on this important law, and has been very open to working with the trade groups in a productive manner,” said ABC MA President Greg Beeman.
The law requires that contractors working on public construction projects valued at $10,000 and above certify and document that their employees have received OSHA 10-hour training. The advisory states that all contracts between general contractors and subcontractors and between subcontractors and sub-subcontractors must contain certification language. In addition, contractors much provide documentation of the course completion – a copy of the OSHA card – the first time its workers appear on a certified payroll.
ABC worked to ensure that the documentation requirement was not limited solely to the worker having the OSHA card on his or her person. The advisory states that documentation can also come from cards or copies of cards kept at the jobsite, at the job trailer, for example. “Given the nature of construction and the amount of debris workers are often exposed to, many do not carry wallets on their person. To then subject a contractor to potential enforcement actions simply because a worker may not be carrying a training card even if he or she received the required training is unfair and misdirected. We are pleased that the Attorney General’s office has provided a reasonable alternative,” Beeman said.
According to the advisory, in enforcing the law, the AG will require two categories of employees to have OSHA 10training. The first category includes any employee who is entitled to receive the prevailing wage while on the worksite as determined by the Division of Occupational Safety. The second category includes any other employee of any entity that is required to pay the prevailing wage at the worksite. Generally, supervisors (with the exception of so-called “working foremen”) are not entitled to receive the prevailing wage and therefore serve as an example of employees who fall into this second category. Employees who fall into one of these two categories and work on a public works or public building worksite shall be required to have the OSHA 10 training (the “Covered Employees”). Examples of individuals who are not Covered Employees are truck drivers and individuals delivering materials provided they are not entitled to the prevailing wage while on the worksite.
The advisory also notes that the AG will accept documentation from the training provider until the employee receives the OSHA card, which can take up to five weeks. ABC’s Gould Construction Institute (GCI) will provide such documentation for all contractors who have received OSHA training through the GCI. To speak to the GCI on this or on their OSHA 10-hour and other safety training, please contact 781-270-9990.
The full advisory can be found at: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=cagoterminal&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Workplace+Rights&L2=Public+Construction&sid=Cago&b=terminalcontent&f=workplace_osha10_advisory&csid=Cago