Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), hundreds of billions of federal dollars will be disseminated to employers across the country for various infrastructure and industrial growth projects, according to a posting on OSHA’s web site.

These will include major construction activity as well as the development and expansion of existing and new technologies.

OSHA will implement a multi-tiered enforcement program to assure worker protection on ARRA-related projects. Through the development and implementation of emphasis programs, OSHA will direct enforcement efforts to stimulus package-related construction, infrastructure, and green energy projects, as well as to industries in manufacturing that support those projects.

Here are highlights:

OSHA will rely heavily on new and existing Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) to protect workers on ARRA-related projects.

State Plan States will also target ARRA-related projects

Hilda, L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, spoke about OSHA and its role in protecting workers on stimulus-related projects during a groundbreaking ceremony for the National Labor College’s Workers Memorial on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Here is an excerpt from her remarks:

“As our nation makes key investments to put people back to work, OSHA will strengthen enforcement by hiring an additional 36 inspectors to provide guidance training and outreach to employers and workers, and launch a new effort to collect information about injuries and illnesses in the construction industry.

“As part of its efforts to provide compliance assistance and outreach, OSHA will increase its efforts to protect our nation's workforce.

“OSHA will unveil a new web site with information in English, Spanish and other languages, and will also issue a number of new products for the recipients of Recovery funds, such as: a new QuickCard that emphasizes nail gun safety, guidelines on Controlling Silica Exposures in Construction, guidance for Safely Using Ethylene Oxide in Health Care, and Spanish translations of two important Safety and Health Information Bulletins: Compactor Rollover Hazards and Hazards Associated with Operating Skid-Steer Loaders. In addition, we will be reaching out to our communities through churches, organizations and consulates.”

Beginning in May 2009, OSHA will begin collecting injury and illness data from approximately 20,000 construction firms in order to focus its resources on the areas of greatest need. This is an expansion of OSHA’s Data Initiative, which collects injury and illness data for general industry.