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For Immediate Release
April 23, 2003

For More Information:
Mike Mitchell 503-378-3272

Kevin Weeks 503-947-7428

Changes announced in Oregon rules for concrete and masonry construction

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has announced changes in the Oregon Administrative Rules, Chapter 437, Division 3/Q, Concrete and Masonry Construction. The changes are effective April 30, 2003.

New rules were adopted following requests from industry professionals to make the criteria mandatory to ensure worker safety during masonry construction projects. Existing rules did not provide specific procedures for ensuring that masonry walls under construction met a standard that requires "adequate bracing to prevent overturn and collapse." Changes provide greater clarity for meeting definitions of "adequate bracing" and provide a higher level of safety to workers constructing, or working near, masonry walls.

Additions include language addressing the use of straight coil loops, specifications for bracing systems and procedures to follow when wind speeds exceed 25 mph on a construction site.The new rules were adopted following concerns from industry professionals requesting clarification to ensure worker safety during masonry construction projects.

The new criteria were developed under a Worksite Redesign Program grant from Oregon OSHA.

Additional information about the changes, and text of the adopted rules, is available on the Oregon OSHA Web site, www.orosha.org. For answers to questions about the standards, contact Mike Mitchell in Oregon OSHA's Standards and Technical section at (503) 378-3272, or toll-free in Oregon, (800) 922-2689.