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Section 2: Contract Requirements

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Pre-Construction Preparation

Review the OSHA regulations and be familiar with violations of safety requirements. Review the contract to identify hazardous types of work, such as trenching and underground/overhead utilities. If the contract provides for special work that presents a danger to the public or workers on the project, discuss the contractor’s safety plan with the contractor at the pre-construction conference, emphasizing safety requirements. This may include a discussion of requirements for special equipment, unique procedures; and necessary permits or reports.

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Pre-Construction Conference

Cover the following safety points at the pre-construction conference:

  • state and federal construction safety standards requirements the contractor must meet
  • discuss contractor's written Safety/Incident Prevention Plan and ensure it includes:
    • organization
    • staff
    • names of responsible individuals
    • meetings
    • training
    • reports
    • other components deemed appropriate.
  • ensure that a copy of the plan is submitted to the department for review and retention in the contract file
  • contractor’s responsibility for subcontractor compliance with safety regulations
  • the contractor’s plans for meeting specific specialty job safety requirements and eliminating potentially critical hazards on the project.

Add to the contract files a written record of the safety measures reviewed at the pre-construction conference.

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Construction Surveillance

Record any violations of applicable safety requirements in the contract diary. The following brief discussion is based on the 29 CFR 1926 construction safety standards and lists some of the principal safety requirements of specific OSHA safety standards.

  • First aid and medical services. The contractor must provide readily accessible first aid kits and conspicuously post telephone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and ambulances, per 29 CFR 1926.23 & .50.
  • Housekeeping. Clear scrap and used materials from work areas (scattered debris and combustible scrap) that would constitute hazards to workers, per 29 CFR 1926.25.
  • Noise exposure. If the contractor cannot provide means to lower noise level exposures to permissible levels, personal protective equipment must be provided, per 29 CFR 1926.52.
  • Head protection. Employees must wear protective helmets to avoid injuries, per the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.100.
  • Eye and face protection. Eye and face protection must be provided to protect against eye or face injury, per 29 CFR 1926.102.
  • Safety nets. Safety nets are used as protection for unprotected sides, leading edges, working on the face of formwork or reinforcing steel, overhead or below surface bricklaying, work on roofs, and pre-cast concrete work. For further information about “Fall Protection,” see 29 CFR 1926, Subpart M.
  • Power-operated hand tools. Only employees trained in operating power tools are permitted to use them. Certain hand-held powered tools must be equipped with a constant pressure switch that will shut off the power when the pressure is released. These include circular saws, chain saws, and percussion tools without positive accessory holding means. Electrically powered hand tools must be of the double-insulated type or grounded. Pneumatic power tools must be secured to the hose or whip by some positive means to prevent the tool from becoming accidentally disconnected. Additional requirements for the safety operation of power tools are found in 29 CFR 1926. 302.
  • Ladders. Required characteristics:
    • must be free of defects
    • adequately supported or anchored
    • fixed ladders must have cages per the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.1053.
  • Scaffolds. All scaffolding shall be erected in accordance with the requirements for the specific scaffold type as provided in 29 CFR 1926 Subpart L.
  • Cranes and derricks. Operations must comply with the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.550. Other material handling requiring the use of overhead lift equipment must comply with applicable standards of Subpart N. Rated load capacities must be posted on the equipment. A trained person must make frequent inspections of the equipment and a thorough annual inspection of the hoisting machinery. Electrical distribution lines near operating equipment must be de-energized and grounded, or insulating barriers erected to prevent contact with the lines. Otherwise operation must allow at least ten feet clearance from live electrical power lines.
  • Earth moving equipment. Equipment must have brakes capable of stopping and holding the equipment when fully loaded. All bi-directional machines (rollers, compactors, front-end loaders, bulldozers, and similar equipment) must have an operable horn. Audible back up warning devices must be in place and in good operating condition on equipment, which has an obstructed view to the rear. Other applicable specific requirements as found in 29 CFR 1926 Subpart O, .600 through .605 must be followed.
  • Excavation. Existing trees, boulders, and other surface obstructions creating a hazard to employees working on or near excavations must be removed or made safe before excavation is begun. All excavation operations must be done in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P, .650 through .652 and all appropriate/applicable appendices.

    NOTE: There may be special contract requirements beyond the minimum requirements stated above.

  • Concrete forms. Concrete forms must be erected and braced to withstand all vertical and horizontal loads that may be imposed on them during concrete placement. Concrete forms must be removed and stockpiled promptly after stripping. Protruding nails, wire ties, etc., must be removed to eliminate a hazardous condition. Other requirements per 29 CFR 1926.700 through .706 must be followed as applicable.
  • Structural steel assembly. During structur al steel erection the hoisting line must be retained on the members until there are two bolts at each connection or two erection clamps wrenched tight at each welded connection. The safety standards in Subpart R of 29 CFR 1926 provide the complete requirements for structural steel erection and must be followed as applicable.
  • Cofferdam. If high water overtopping of the cofferdam is possible, a methodology must be provided for controlled flooding. At least two means of rapid egress from the work area must be provided, per the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.802.
  • Explosives. Cigarettes, firearms, and matches are prohibited while handling, transporting or using explosives. All other requirements for the handling of explosives are found in 29 CFR 1926 Subpart U.
  • Handling traffic through and around construction. Temporary roadways and detours must be properly maintained. Use the Traffic Control Plan and Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ( TMUTCD) to check signs, barricades, and flaggers. Flaggers must be trained using a recognized training course, such as offered by Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).

    NOTE: Department employees, as well as contractor’s employees, must continually follow safety practices. Follow all requirements for personal safety.

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