General CO/IH Responsibilities. CO/IH responsibilities for
construction inspections are the same as for general inspections (See
Chapter III). Special situations arising in the construction industry
are discussed in this chapter.
1. Applicability. The
standards issued under the Construction Safety Act and published as 29 CFR
Part 1926 have been adopted as occupational safety and health standards
under Section 5-309 of the MOSH Act (the Act). They shall apply to every
employment and place of employment of every employee engaged in
construction work, including noncontract construction work.
a. Definition. The
term "construction work" means work for construction,
alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating. These terms
are discussed in 29 CFR 1926.13. If any question arises as to whether an
activity is deemed to be construction, the MOSH Supervisor shall be
b. Part 1910
Standards Applicable to Construction. Part 1910 standards are applicable
to construction when no 1926 standard exists.
2. Enforcement. In
the event of violations, citations shall be issued and penalties assessed
in accordance with procedures set forth in Chapters IV, V, and VI.
C. Employer Workplace.
1. General. Inspections
of employers in the construction industry are not easily separable into
distinct establishments. The establishment is generally the site where the
construction is being performed (e.g., the building site, the dam site).
Where the construction site extends over a large geographical area (e.g.,
road building), the entire job will be considered a single establishment.
In cases where such large geographical areas overlap into another state,
only operations of the employer within the jurisdiction of the State of
Maryland shall be considered as the establishment of the employer.
Convenience. The definition of establishment in this chapter is only for
administrative convenience and has no effect upon the issuance of failure
to correct notifications or repeat citations. For instructions regarding
multi-employer worksites, see Chapter V.
D. Advance Notice.
1. General. The same
general policies and procedures on advance notice set forth in Chapter III
are applicable to construction inspections. Thus, in general, advance
notice will be given only where it will enhance the effectiveness of the
2. Authorized. When
advance notice is authorized, the CO/IH shall contact the general
contractor's office by telephone. If there is more than one general
contractor (e.g., if two or more general contractors have formed a joint
venture for purposes of the job in question), the CO/IH shall attempt to
ascertain the identity of all such general contractors and contact each of
them. The general contractor(s) shall be told to advise all subcontractors
working on the job that the inspection will take place. The general
contractor shall also be asked to advise the labor organizations
representing employees and to instruct each subcontractor to take similar
action. Where there are no labor organizations or other representatives of
employees, advance notice need not be given to the employees.
E. Entry of the Workplace.
1. Severe Weather
Conditions. If severe weather conditions encountered during an inspection
cause construction activities to shut down, the inspection shall be
continued when weather permits. If the work continues and the weather
creates hazardous working conditions, these facts shall be reported, since
they may be the subject of citations and proposed penalties based on a
specific standard or, if no such standard is applicable, the general duty clause.
2. Right to
Enter--Refusal to Permit Inspection. Section 5-208(a) of the Act
authorizes the CO/IH to enter without delay and at reasonable times any
construction site. If the employer refuses to permit entry, the CO/IH
shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter III.
Conference. In conducting the opening conference the CO/IH shall follow
the procedures outlined in Chapter III. Upon arrival at the construction
site, the CO/IH shall contact the "prime" or general
contractor's representative in charge of the job; usually, this will be
the superintendent or project manager. The CO/IH shall advise this
individual that the purpose of the visit is to make an inspection to
determine compliance with the requirements of the Act.
Normally, there will be several subcontractors at the site. In such cases,
the individual in charge shall be asked to identify them and to provide
the name of the individual in charge of each subcontractor's operations at
the site. This person shall also be requested to notify such individuals
immediately of the inspection and to ask them to assemble in the general
contractor's office or some other suitable place to discuss the inspection
with the CO/IH. The inspection shall not be postponed or substantially
delayed because of the unavailability of one (or more) representatives.
The inspection may proceed and a conference with unavailable
representatives may be held during the physical inspection of the premises.
Representatives. Authorized representatives of employees for each
contractor and subcontractor, if any, shall be informed of the inspection
and invited to an opening conference. That conference may be a joint
conference with employers at the option of the employers.
c. Other Agency. The CO/IH shall ascertain whether there is a representative of a Federal or
State contracting agency at the worksite. If there is, the CO/IH shall
contact the representative, advise him/her of the inspection and request
that he/she attend the opening conference.
Conference. The CO/IH shall advise all employers and employee
representatives that a closing conference will be held with each of them
following the complete inspection, and request that each of them arrange
to have a representative available.
for Common Services. At the opening conference, or at some other suitable
time during the inspection, the CO/IH shall ascertain who is responsible
for providing such special services as common sanitation, eating
facilities, first aid, etc., available to all employees on the worksite.
Even though arrangements have been made for one subcontractor or for the
general contractor to provide common services, each employer is
responsible for his/her own employees in this regard. Any or all of the
employers can be cited for lack of such services.
f. Complaints. If the
inspection is being conducted as a result of a complaint, a copy of the
complaint is to be furnished as follows:
(1) A copy of every
complaint, including complaints against subcontractors, shall be provided
to the general contractor.
(2) A copy of every
complaint against the general contractor shall, if possible, be provided
to every subcontractor whose employees may be exposed to the alleged
(3) A copy of every
complaint against a subcontractor shall be provided to that subcontractor
and, if possible, to others whose employees may be exposed to the alleged
(4) Care shall be
taken to protect the identity of the complainant who has requested that
his/her name not be revealed.
(5) For further
details see procedures outlined in Chapter IX.
4. Selecting Employer
and Employee Representatives. The CO/IH shall conduct a walk around
inspection in accordance with the provisions of Chapter III.
Representative. Each employer is entitled to select an authorized
representative to accompany the CO/IH during the inspection. Similarly,
the employees of each employer have the right to select an authorized
representative for this purpose. If the job is unionized, then the labor
organization representing the employees shall select the authorized
employee representative. If there is no representative, the CO/IH shall
normally interview a reasonable number of employees to determine whether
hazards exist. A reasonable number of employees shall include at least
some employees of each employer and each craft on the job.
Interviews. During the walk around the CO/IH shall consult with individual
employees as well as the employee representative concerning working
conditions, as judged appropriate by the CO/IH.
c. Walk Around
Provisions. The fact that normally there will be numerous employers on the
job site complicates the implementation of walk around provisions. If all
employers and groups of employees selected a different representative to
accompany the CO/IH on the inspection, the group participating in the
inspection could be so large that work on the worksite might be disrupted
and the effectiveness of the inspection would be diminished.
(1) An attempt shall
be made to encourage employer and employees to select, respectively, a
limited number of representatives for accompaniment purposes. It shall be
pointed out by the CO/IH that this arrangement makes an effective
inspection possible without diminishing the accompaniment rights. If any
matter comes up during the course of the inspection that requires special
knowledge, the representative of the appropriate employer or employees
shall be called in to participate in that phase of the inspection.
(2) The CO/IH may
also divide the inspection into separate phases (e.g., exterior work,
interior work, and so forth). If this procedure is followed, the number of
employer and employee representatives for each phase of the inspection can
be limited to those immediately involved. The CO/IH shall avoid, to the
extent possible, inspecting the same areas of the worksite more than once.
d. Too Many
Representatives. The CO/IH shall conduct the inspection accompanied by the
representatives designated by the employers and employees. If during the
course of the inspection, the CO/IH determines that, because of the large
number of persons involved, the inspection is not being conducted in an
effective manner or that work is being unduly disrupted, the participants
shall be advised that walk around representation is discontinued and
instead a reasonable number of employees will be interviewed. If the
participants then agree to a limited number of representatives for
accompaniment purposes, the CO/IH shall resume the inspection with such representatives.
F. Closing Conference.
1. General. Upon
completion of the inspection, the CO/IH shall confer with the general
contractors and all appropriate subcontractors or their representatives,
together or separately, at their option. Each subcontractor shall be
advised of all the apparent violations disclosed by the inspection to
which that subcontractor's employees were exposed. The closing conference
with each general contractor and subcontractor may be a joint conference
with employer and employee representatives at the employer's option. (See
Chapter III for further details.)
2. Contractor Names
and Addresses. The CO/IH shall make certain before leaving the worksite
that work notes contain the names and addresses of the general
contractor(s) and all other employers at the worksite.
G. Citations and Penalties.
1. Mailing. Upon the
completion of citations and notification of penalties, the original for
each employer shall be sent to each employer’s home office and duplicate
copies shall be sent to the worksite.
2. Where to Post
Citations. At many construction sites, the employer (whether prime
contractor or subcontractor) provides a trailer or other worksite office.
Where such a facility is provided and employees are likely to be in the
vicinity of the facility on a daily basis, the citation shall be posted at
a. Other Location. A
copy of the citation shall also be posted at any other location of the
employer where employees are required to report on a daily basis. In some
situations, such a location would be the employer's main or branch office;
in other situations, such as highway construction, the location would be
the place where employees actually work.
b. No Place to Post
Citation. Where no obvious place for posting the citations exists (such as
in highway construction where the trailer may be a considerable distance
away and the employees do not report to the trailer) the employer shall be
required to furnish a suitable object on which to post the citation in a
conspicuous location or immediately adjacent to the worksite. In any case
where the citation will be exposed to rain or snow, the citation shall be
protected from the elements.