The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through its Office of Safety and Occupational Health, has released a new edition of the Corps’ Safety and Health Requirements Manual, EM 385-1-1, that streamlines information for easier access and quicker use.  According to the Corps, “The safety manual is a major key to the success of the USACE safety program.”  The 1,050 page book is used during construction, operations, maintenance, research The manual was last revised in 2003, and the 2008 version parallels Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and other national standards.  It deviates from these standards only when research and/or accident experience deem it necessary.

The new manual went into effect Jan. 12 and can be downloaded by clicking on this link.   It is also available in bid packages and from the Government Printing Office for about $27 a copy. Improvements in formatting and layout allow users of the manual to move through it with relative ease.  For example, crane requirements are clearer, up to date, and most importantly, centrally located in one section, including information that was located in appendices in past editions.  In the same way, all fall-protection requirements are now contained in Section 21 instead of scattered throughout the manual.

As stated on the Corps’ website, “With an organization as far-reaching as USACE, revising the safety manual was no small task.  This was one of the largest revisions since the manual’s original production, and has taken nearly two-and-a-half-years.”