During a series of Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel discussions convened by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), between September 7 and 19, AGC members John Morris (President, Morris Inc.), Kellie Kimball (Vice President, Holes Inc.), and Anthony E. Gonzalez (Partner, The Gonzalez Group) provided critical testimony on the potential impacts of OSHA’s proposed heat standard on small businesses in construction.
Several important issues were raised, including the impracticality of a one-size-fits-all approach due to geographical differences in heat; personal risk factors of employees such as lifestyle choices and pre-existing medical conditions; prescribed rest breaks that would disrupt the natural flow of operations and, in some cases, introduce hazardous conditions; overly prescriptive acclimatization model; temperature triggers for implementation of controls beyond training, hydration, rest, etc.; and onerous recordkeeping requirements such as weather logs and symptom/first-aid logs.
The SBAR Panel is now required to issue a final report summarizing all small business comments to the head of OSHA within 60 days. The public has until December 23 to review the regulatory framework document, background document, and submit comments to OSHA.
AGC will submit comments by the December 23 deadline and continue to articulate problematic issues with OSHA’s approach.