Eleventh Circuit Strikes County Ordinance

OSHA: In Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter v. Miami Dade County, 2010 WL 276669 (11th Cir. 2010), a number of contractor groups challenged a job site safety ordinance passed by Miami-Dade County, which set binding regulations for the construction, installation, and use of tower cranes.

The contractors argued that the ordinance violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act because it amounted to non-approved state regulation of OSHA issues governed by federal standards. The county argued in response that because the ordinance focused on wind load standards, it regulated public safety during hurricanes as opposed to construction site safety.

The Eleventh Circuit rejected Miami-Dade County’s argument. The court explained that construction sites were closed to the public and the ordinance only regulated how workers erected and used cranes on those sites. Accordingly, the court found that the ordinance was an “occupational safety or health regulation,” which conflicted with the federal standard

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