Legal Update: OSHA’S Latest Construction-Safety Initiatives

Minnesota OSHA has recently announced initiatives to the address the need for contractors to continuously update their safety protocols and training efforts. OSHA’s focus in these initiatives is aligning fostering a culture of safety in the construction section, with an emphasis on the four goals below.


  1. Expanded Training and Hiring Initiatives:

OSHA has intensified efforts to bring on board new safety investigators and industrial hygienists, emphasizing an extensive training curriculum. OSHA’s aim is meeting the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of seasoned investigators.


  1. Young-Worker Safety:

OSHA is emphasizing young-worker safety by highlighting the need for adequate training, supervision, and the provision of safety equipment. OSHA is also calling for contractors to reassess how they onboard and manage teen workers. Because OSHA believes that young workers are disproportionately susceptible to workplace accidents, OSHA will increase its educational and enforcement efforts towards ensuring that contractors implement robust safety orientation and training programs for young workers.


  1. Training-Program Re-Evaluation:

OSHA calls on contractors to re-evaluate their safety-training programs to ensure that they are comprehensive and meet the needs of all employees—especially young and inexperienced workers. OSHA continues to emphasize that construction company best practices include integrating OSHA’s guidelines and resources into training modules.


  1. Strengthening Supervision and Safety-Equipment Protocols:

OSHA calls on contractors to strengthen supervision practices and make safety equipment more available, especially for tasks involving hazardous equipment or environments. OSHA emphasizes that young workers must be: (1) assigned roles appropriate to their age and skill level; (2) equipped with necessary personal protective equipment, and (3) never left unsupervised in potentially dangerous situations.


You can also find a more detailed description of these initiatives here in the April 2024 edition of Safety Lines (a quarterly publication of Minnesota OSHA and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry).

If you have questions about the laws and how they impact your business, please contact attorney Brendan Kenny at 952-746-2139 or [email protected].