Construction Safety Requirements

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Drinking Water

An adequate supply of potable water must be provided in all places of employment.

Portable drinking water containers must be capable of being tightly closed and equipped with a tap. Using a common drinking cup is prohibited. Where single service cups (to be used but once) are supplied, both a sanitary container for unused cups and a receptacle for used cups must be provided.

Electrical Installations

Employers must provide either ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) or an assured equipment grounding conductor program to protect employees from ground-fault hazards at construction sites. The two options are detailed below.
(1) All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles that are not part of the permanent wiring must be protected by GFCIs. Receptacles on smaller generators are exempt under certain conditions.
(2) An assured equipment grounding conductor program covering extension cords,

receptacles, and cord- and plug-connected equipment must be implemented. The program must include the following:

• A written description of the program.
• At least one competent person to implement the program..33
• Daily visual inspections of extension cords and cord- and plug-connected equipment for defects. Equipment found damaged or defective must not be used until repaired.
• Continuity tests of the equipment grounding conductors or receptacles, extension cords, and cord- and plug-connected equipment. These tests must generally be made every 3 months.
Light bulbs for general illumination must be protected from breakage, and metal shell sockets must be grounded. Temporary lights must not be suspended by their cords, unless they are so designed. Portable lighting used in wet or conducive locations, such as tanks or boilers, must be operated at no more than 12 volts or must be protected by

Extension cords must be of the three-wire type. Extension cords and flexible cords used with temporary and portable lights must be designed for hard or extra hard usage (for example, types S, ST, and SO). Worn or frayed electric cords or cables must not be used. Extension cords must not be fastened with staples, hung from nails, or suspended by wire.


Work spaces, walkways, and similar locations must be kept clear of cords.

Listed, labeled, or certified equipment must be installed and used in accordance with instructions included in the listing, labeling, or certification.

Electrical Work Practices

Employers must not allow employees to work near live parts of electrical circuits, unless the employees are protected by one of the following means:
• Deenergizing and grounding the parts.

• Guarding the part by insulation.

• Any other effective means.
In work areas where the exact location of under-ground electrical power lines is unknown, employees using jack hammers, bars, or other hand tools that may contact the lines must be protected by insulating gloves, aprons, or other protective clothing that will provide equivalent electrical protection.
Barriers or other means of guarding must be used to ensure that workspace for electrical equipment will not be used as a passageway during periods when energized parts of equipment are exposed.
Flexible cords must be connected to devices and fittings so that strain relief is provided which will prevent pull from being directly transmitted to joints or terminal screws.
Equipment or circuits that are deenergized must be rendered inoperative and must have tags attached at all points where the equipment or circuits could be energized.

Excavating and Trenching

The estimated location of utility installations—such as sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, water lines, or any other underground installations that reasonably may be expected to be

encountered during excavation work—must be determined prior to opening an excavation.

Utility companies or owners must be contacted within established or customary local response times, advised of the proposed work, and asked to establish the location of the utility underground installations prior to the start of actual excavation. When utility companies or owners cannot respond to a request to locate underground utility installations within 24 hours (unless a longer period is required by state or local law), or cannot establish the exact location of these installations, the employer may proceed, provided the employer does so with caution, and provided detection equipment or other acceptable means to locate utility installations are used.
When excavation operations approach the estimated location of underground installations, the exact location of the installations must be determined by safe and acceptable means. While the excavation is open, underground installations must be protected, supported, or removed, as necessary, to safeguard employees.
Each employee in an excavation must be protected from cave-ins by an adequate protective system except when:
• Excavations are made entirely in stable rock, or excavations are less than 5 feet in depth and examination of the ground by a competent person provides no indication of a potential cave-in.
• Protective systems must have the capacity to resist, without failure, all loads that are intended or could reasonably be expected to be applied or transmitted to the system.
Employees must be protected from excavated or other materials or equipment that could pose a hazard by falling or rolling into excavations. Protection must be provided by placing and keeping such materials or equipment at least 2 feet from the edge of excavations, or by the use of retaining devices that are sufficient to prevent materials or equipment from falling or rolling into excavations, or by a combination of both if necessary.
Daily inspections of excavations, the adjacent areas, and protective systems must be made by a competent person for evidence of a situation that could result in possible cave-ins, indications of failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres, or other hazardous conditions. An inspection must be conducted by the competent person prior to the start of work and as needed throughout the shift. Inspections must also be made after every rainstorm or other hazard increasing occurrence. These inspections are only required when employee exposure can be reasonably anticipated. Where a competent person finds evidence of a situation that could result in a possible cave-in, indications of failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres, or other hazardous conditions, exposed employees must be removed from the hazardous area until the necessary precautions have been taken to ensure their safety.
A stairway, ladder, ramp, or other safe means of egress must be located in trench excavations that are 4 feet (1.2192 meters) or more in depth so as to require no more than 25 feet of lateral travel for employees.

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