Construction Safety

Construction Safety

Proactive safety planning during all construction phases is essential to reduce construction and renovation activity risks and eliminate hazards to construction workers, the Harvard community, and the public.

EH&S helps with:

Harvard, through agreement and as a recipient of federal funding, must follow federal Health and Human Services illicit substance regulations, including marijuana. When the federal government changes screen or confirmation threshold cutoffs or adds new drugs or procedures to be tested, Harvard's substance abuse testing is automatically amended.

Massachusetts laws doesn't affect employer's authority to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting employee marijuana consumption. They also don't amend existing penalties for conduct involving performing any task while impaired by marijuana. Accordingly, Harvard's pre-hire, post-accident, and reasonable suspicion substance abuse testing still includes marijuana.

Department Contact

Department Update

EH&S had developed an online training specifically for project and building managers to oversee capital projects.

Construction EH&S Requirements Training

Utilizing Resources, Recognizing Impacts, and Understanding your Responsibilities & the Role of EH&S is currently available in the EH&S Training Management System (TMS). This training follows the project delivery guidelines developed by the University Construction Management Council (UCMC).

Did You Know?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule regarding worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The final rule takes effect on June 23, 2016, after which the construction industry has one year to comply with the requirements, by June 23, 2017.

Notable updates to this OSHA Standard:

  • Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.
  • Establishes an action level for respirable crystalline silica of 25 micrograms per cubic meter, dictating performance requirements for employers.
  • Requires employers to: use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan, offer medical exams to highly exposed workers, and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.
  • Establishes expectations for medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.

OSHA Safety and Health Topics: Silica, Crystalline