Construction Safety

Construction Safety

Proactive safety planning during all phases of construction is essential in order to reduce the risk associated with construction and renovation activities, as well as eliminate hazards to construction workers, faculty, staff, students, and the public. This service includes the management and implementation of the Construction Safety Standard, pre-construction planning, evaluation of contractor safety performance, development of a project hazard analysis, detailed review of high-risk activities, and administration of a comprehensive substance abuse prevention program.

The University, through agreement and as a recipient of federal funding, is bound to adhere to Federal Department of Health and Human Services regulations concerning illicit substances, which still include marijuana. When the federal government changes the screen or confirmation threshold cut offs or adds new drugs or procedures to the list of drugs to be tested, the University's substance abuse testing shall be automatically amended to accommodate such change. Massachusetts state law does not affect the authority of employers to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting the consumption of marijuana by employees, nor does it amend existing penalties for conduct involving the performance of any task while impaired by marijuana. Accordingly, the University's pre-hire, post-accident, and reasonable suspicion substance abuse testing still includes marijuana.

Department Contact

Charles Perry
Construction Safety Officer

Kelly McQueeney
Associate Director of Project Support Services

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