Weekly Roundup: OSHA rule change, Orlando rail expansion, & more

Weekly Roundup: OSHA rule change, Orlando rail expansion, & more

Contractor Insider is a weekly roundup of the latest news and insights relevant to contractors.

OSHA rule revision to benefit contractors

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently revised its rules on safe-load limits for certain residential constructions, and this revision is posed to result in an annual contractor savings of $5.8 trillion. Equipment World

  • OSHA has lifted the rule for contractors to post maximum safe-load limits of floors in storage areas during construction of single-family houses as well as multi-family residences with wood frames.
  • “Employers do not place heavy materials in storage areas above floor or slab on grade,” says the OSHA rule. This, in turn, renders the posting of safe-load limits not necessary.
  • The OSHA’s final rule says that removing the safe-load limits relieves “the compliance burden [from] employers” while still protecting the health and safety of construction employees.

FRA cancels funding for California high-speed rail project

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) officially cancelled a $1 billion funding for California’s high-speed rail project following its termination of its agreement with the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA). Roads and Bridges

  • FRA states CHSRA’s failure to comply with the agreed terms and to make reasonable progress in the project as some of their reasons for terminating their agreement. CHSRA has also abandoned the plan to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, says FRA in a statement.
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom responded by saying that the FRA decision is “illegal” since the funding belongs to the state as “appropriated by the Congress.”
  • Reports say that the project may still push through without the FRA funding. CHSRA believes it has enough money to complete the project by focusing on the Central Valley area.

Contractors for Orlando-Florida rail expansion named

Five contractors for Phase 2 of the Orlando and South Florida rail expansion have been announced by Virgins Trains USA. Florida Daily

  • Hubbard Construction Company, Wharton-Smith Inc., The Middlesex Corporation, Granite and HSR Constructors will man the construction of the new 170-mile track that will lead to the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport.
  • “Connecting Central and South Florida will bring thousands of jobs today and by modernizing infrastructure, we will strengthen Florida’s economy for decades,” said Patrick Goddard, President of Virgin Trains.
  • Construction is set to finish in 2022, and service between South Florida and Orlando will begin in the same year.

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