The election of Joe Biden as president brought many new faces to Washington. One department head nominee that construction industry employers should be aware of: Doug Parker, the proposed new boss of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Parker most recently oversaw California’s OSHA division. Experts in jobsite safety trends predict that a Parker-led OSHA will be far more aggressive than the essentially mothballed agency that slept through the Trump administration. They expect tough, Obama-era enforcement of all the workplace safety and health rules. And, they say, Biden wants to push through new measures that will expand jobsite protections for workers.
What does that mean for construction employers? A beefed-up OSHA will likely be doing far more site visits than in the last four years, and sanctions will no longer be mere slaps on the wrist. That means you will need to be hiring experienced jobbers to whom site safety isn’t something to be ignored or barely tolerated.
So when you’re hiring, consider securing the trades people you need from a reputable staffing service that specializes in construction workers. You’ll be sent reliable workers who have been thoroughly vetted for you by the agency, men and women who’ve been in the trades for years. They understand the need to follow federal jobsite safety and health regulations.
A Biden-revamped OSHA will be no joking matter for construction managers. Make sure OSHA isn’t a joke to your personnel. If your employees come from an agency that knows construction, the laugh won’t be on you.