The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires all employers to provide their employees with a safe and healthful environment for working. Given the varied and potentially severe hazards that can be present at a construction site, construction employers must pay special attention to safety standards. In addition to the general guidelines applicable to all industries, the construction industry must follow regulations specifically geared to address hazards peculiar to the construction environment.

OSHA regulations cover virtually every safety aspect in the construction industry including general areas such as fire protection and prevention, illumination, occupational noise, and personal protective and life saving equipment. In addition to general safety, the regulations specifically address issues for various construction components such as electrical, welding and cutting, concrete and masonry, and demolition, to name a few. Construction employers must be well-versed in all applicable regulations to maintain safe working conditions and sidestep the costly ramifications for failing to do so.

Employers must comply with OSHA regulations or face civil and criminal penalties. Compliance is maintained through on-site inspections by the Secretary of Labor. Such inspections can arise through employee complaints or merely through the Secretary's routine inspections.

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