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OSHA has released an updated list of almost 500 industry groups that are exempt from programmed safety inspections for FY2015 and the list includes five construction-related North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. An employer would be exempt from a programmed inspection when there are 10 or fewer employees at a worksite.

Among those groups are companies that fall under the following NAICS codes:

  • Power and communication line and related structures construction (NAICS 237130)
  • Land subdivision (NAICS 237210)
  • Other heavy and civil engineering construction (NAICS 237990)
  • Electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors (NAICS 238210)
  • Other building equipment contractors (NAICS 238290)
The benefit of this proposed exemption is that small construction employers will be able to focus more of their resources on providing a safe and healthy work environment and maintaining, or exceeding, compliance with OSHA rules. OSHA offers compliance assistance resources to those companies who wish to use them.

Contractors should be aware that despite this rule, OSHA is still allowed to inspect these employers if unsafe conditions exist and to protect workers from potential harm.

To qualify for the list, a six-digit NAICS industry group must have had a days-away, restricted or transferred (DART) injury and illness rate of fewer than 1.8 cases for every 100 employees during 2012 as calculated by DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cutoff of 1.8 cases was chosen because that rate was the overall average for all private employers.