National Work Zone Awareness Week 2021

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

nwzaw2021poster_18x24.jpg
Photo: National Work Zone Awareness Week

Washington — National Work Zone Awareness Week is set for April 26-30, with a national kickoff event – hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation – planned for 11 a.m. Eastern on April 27.

The theme for this year’s event is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.” It serves as a reminder that work zones “need everyone’s undivided attention,” safety begins with workers who are dedicated to safety, and all stakeholders can work together to “achieve zero deaths” on the roads and in work zones.

April 28 will be “Go Orange Day” to remember those who’ve lost their lives in work zones. To show support for their families and friends, organizers encourage everyone to wear orange. Michigan OSHA implores employers to use the week “as an opportunity to speak with their employees in all industry sectors about the hazards in the roadway.”

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 842 people were killed in work zones in 2019 – up from 757 the previous year. Worker fatalities in construction zones also increased to 135 in 2019 from 124 in 2018.

NWZAW is an annual event. Since 1999, FHWA has partnered with the American Traffic Safety Services Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to promote work zone safety, adding other transportation partners through the years.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Fatal Injury Trends in the Construction Industry

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
memorial.jpg
Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

Silver Spring, MD — The number of construction workers killed on the job reached its highest level in at least nine years in 2019, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Training and Research.

Using 2011-2019 data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, researchers identified 1,102 construction worker fatalities in 2019 – a 41.1% increase from the initial year of the study period.

The increase in fatal injuries was especially pronounced among Hispanic workers, soaring 89.8% over the course of the nine-year period and far outpacing the group’s 55% rise in employment over that time.

Workers in the 45-64 age group accounted for the most fatalities (241) between 2016 and 2019. However, the 65-and-older age group had the highest rate of fatal injuries over those four years, at 22.0 per 100,000 full-time employees – more than double that of the 45-64 age group’s rate of 9.6.

Falls and struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocution hazards – known as the Construction Focus Four as part of an OSHA safety initiative – resulted in 709 deaths in 2019, or 64.3% of all fatalities in the industry that year. Fatal falls to a lower level rose to 401 in 2019 and accounted for 36.4% of all fatalities that year – a 25% jump from the previous year.

Struck-by fatalities were up 7.6% during the study period, including a 21.2% increase in struck-by fatalities involving a transport vehicle. Meanwhile, around 7 out of 10 caught-in/between fatalities involved workers being crushed in collapsing materials.

The numbers of fatal falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds all rose during the study period. In 2019, fatal falls from roofs totaled 146 – a 28.1% increase over the previous year. CPWR advises employers to proactively address fall hazards and provide workers with sufficient protection, such as personal fall arrest systems.

The report was published in the February edition of CPWR’s Data Bulletin.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Ladder safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Ladder safety - McCraren Compliance

“Ladders are tools,” the American Ladder Institute says. “Many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of a ladder.”

A fall from a ladder can result from sudden movement, working too quickly, not paying attention, using a damaged ladder and improper footwear. The institute, which recognizes March as National Ladder Safety Month, offers tips to prepare to work on a ladder:

  • Feeling tired or dizzy? Stay off the ladder.
  • Inspect the ladder before use to ensure it’s in good working order.
  • Make sure you’re using the right size ladder for the job.
  • Don’t use ladders during storms or high wind.
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes if you’ll be climbing a ladder.
  • Set up the ladder on firm, level ground away from doors.
  • Allow only one person on the ladder at a time, and don’t carry items in your hands that can interfere with your grip.

When it’s time to climb the ladder, remember that you’ll need to maintain three points of contact to avoid a fall.

“At all times during ascent, descent and working, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand, in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails,” the institute says. “This way, the climber is not likely to become unstable in the event one limb slips during the climb.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Protecting construction workers during COVID-19

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
Revised-Guidance.jpg
Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on construction sites should be a team effort, OSHA Directorate of Construction Director Scott Ketcham said during a Feb. 25 webinar.

Hosted by OSHA, NIOSH, and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, the event focused on helping construction employers and workers identify exposure risks and determine appropriate control measures.

Ketcham detailed how updated COVID-19 guidance issued by OSHA on Jan. 29 affects construction employers and workers. He also noted that safety professionals still need to contend with other hazards during the pandemic.

“Controlling this disease process with coronavirus and mitigating other hazards really takes all of us working together,” he said. “We all know that in the construction industry we have multiple trades working on a construction site for different companies. Coordination of efforts to make sure that we’re looking out for one another and protecting one another is important.”

Ketcham added that OSHA will use the multi-employer work policy to assess how contractors are following the guidance on construction sites.

Amanda Edens, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health at OSHA, acknowledged that new and updated guidance can lead to confusion among federal agencies and employers.

“It’s challenging for OSHA and CDC to give guidance because science changes,” she said. “And it’s challenging for employers too because they’re trying to keep up with what we’re learning as we go.”

Edens said worker safety issues such as trenching and cranes have remained a priority throughout the pandemic, and topped by those related to COVID-19.

“The bread-and-butter work of the agency continues,” she said. “We still have a lot of construction work to get done, even if COVID wasn’t around. But it is, so we have to do that work and do it in a COVID environment.”

Timothy Irving, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, encouraged employers to consider the mental health needs of workers as he discussed nontraditional hazards.

“OSHA might not be the first federal agency you think of when you hear about nontraditional workplace conditions – PTSD, drug use, suicide and other mental health issues,” he said. “But our mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.”

OSHA’s suicide prevention webpage provides multiple resources to assist workers who might be in crisis. When providing resources to workers, Irving said employers should consider a wide variety of helpful information.

“When you share health and safety resources, be aware that mental health is a part of health and safety,” he said.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

COVID-19: CPWR publishes ventilation tips for indoor construction sites

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

ventilation tips for indoor construction sites - McCraren Compliance

Silver Spring, MD — New guidance from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training is aimed at improving ventilation at indoor construction sites that don’t have working heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems.

Improved indoor ventilation, according to CPWR, is part of a layered approach to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, along with physical distancing, respiratory protection, face coverings and reducing the number of workers in an area.

When HVAC systems aren’t operating on a construction site, CPWR recommends the following:

  • Open windows, doors and other passages, when weather permits, to increase fresh outdoor air in a space.
  • Use fans to increase airflow and introduce more outdoor air.
  • Place fans so fresh air is drawn in from one opening in the workspace and exhausted out through another opening on the other side of the space.
  • Place fans so they move air away from workers, to avoid blowing potentially contaminated air from one worker to another.
  • Don’t use pedestal fans because they regularly mix the air rather than provide ventilation.
  • Inspect and change filters in fans and air cleaners per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • When changing filters, handle them as little as possible and wash hands afterward.
  • Consider monitoring carbon dioxide at the worksite, as elevated levels can indicate poor air circulation.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

The eighth annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be held May 3-7.

First published by OSHA

Fall_Stand-Down_Tweets2.png

Photo: OSHA

The 2021 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is scheduled for May 3–7, OSHA has announced. The annual safety stand-down is intended to raise awareness of fall hazards and to encourage conversations about industry best practices to prevent fall fatalities and injuries. According to OSHA, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers: in 2018, 320 of the 1,008 fatalities recorded in construction were attributed to falls.

Workplaces that participated in past years’ safety stand-downs include commercial construction companies, residential construction contractors, subcontractors and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. military, other government participants, unions, trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers. OSHA encourages any employer who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace to participate. Employers whose workers are not exposed to fall hazards can use the safety stand-down as an opportunity to focus on other job hazards, protective methods, and safety policies and goals. Following the stand-down, employers will be able to download a certificate of participation and provide feedback about their experience.

The website for the safety stand-down provides resources to help workplaces participate in the event, including free training materials, videos, and additional educational resources. Highlights​ from previous years are also available.​​​​​

 


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Demolition work: Keep it safe

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

demolition-work.jpg

Demolition work involves the dismantling, razing, destroying or wrecking of any building or structure. Hazards of this dangerous work, according to OSHA, may include materials hidden within structural members (e.g., lead, asbestos, silica, and other chemicals or heavy metals requiring special material handling), as well as unknown strengths or weaknesses of construction materials, such as post-tensioned concrete.

To combat these hazards, workers at a demolition site should know the safety precautions they must take to protect themselves. OSHA says to:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely. Before work begins, a competent person should survey the work. This person should closely check the condition of the structure and the possibility of an unplanned collapse. An assessment of health hazards also should be completed before work begins.
PROVIDE the right protection and equipment. The employer must determine what personal protective equipment will be required and provide it to workers. The employer also will need to educate workers on the proper use, fit, maintenance and storage of the PPE.
TRAIN employees about demo work hazards and how to safely use equipment. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees. Employers must train employees – in a language they understand – on recognizing and avoiding or removing hazards that may cause an injury or illness.

OSHA addresses demolition hazards in specific standards for the construction industry. Learn more at osha.gov/demolition/standards.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Michigan OSHA launches emphasis program on silica

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
silica.jpg

Lansing, MI — Michigan OSHA intends to conduct inspections at jobsites where workers are most likely to be exposed to respirable crystalline silica, as part of the agency’s recently launched state emphasis program aimed at reducing exposure to silica and preventing silicosis.

Silica is a carcinogen found in sand, stone and artificial stone. MIOSHA’s 12-month emphasis program, announced in the agency’s Fall 2020 online newsletter, includes outreach to affected industries to consult, educate and train employers and the public about the dangers of silica.

MIOSHA has compiled a list of industries with historically high silica exposures and a prevalence of silicosis cases. Establishments on the list could get an unannounced investigation visit to ensure compliance with federal and MIOSHA standards.

The agency has a goal of completing 88 inspections – 2% of the total number of inspections conducted in fiscal year 2019. This matches the goal set by federal OSHA for each of its regions in its national emphasis program, announced Feb. 4.

The agency is offering consultative audits to help establishments identify silica hazards. The audits will help employers develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health system as well as silica exposure monitoring.

Federal OSHA notes that 2.3 million workers nationwide are exposed to silica. When inhaled, these tiny particles – the product of cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, blocks and mortar – increase the risk of serious silica-related diseases such as silicosis, an incurable lung disease. Workers exposed to silica are also at risk for kidney disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Cranes and derricks in railroad roadway work: OSHA clarifies final rule; lists exemptions

railroad-workers2.jpg

Photo: Washington State Dept. of Transportation

Washington — OSHA is providing specific exemptions and clarifications for railroad roadway work in its Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard.

According to a final rule published in the Sept. 15 Federal Register, the exemptions and clarifications are intended to “recognize the unique equipment and circumstances in railroad roadway work,” as well as reflect the preemption of OSHA requirements by Federal Railroad Administration regulations, including those for the safe operation of railroad roadway maintenance machines that have cranes or other hoisting devices.

Some of the exemptions apply to flash-butt welding trucks, the use of rail stops and rail clamps, dragging a load sideways, out-of-level work, and boom-hoist limiting devices for hydraulic cylinder-equipped booms. Operator training and certification will follow FRA regulations, OSHA states in a Sept. 14 press release.

This rulemaking culminates a 10-year period that began when the Association of American Railroads and a number of individual railroads filed a petition challenging the Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard – published in August 2010.

OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in July 2018 after reaching a settlement agreement with those organizations. Nearly a year later, FRA informed OSHA that it intended to preempt many of the requirements in the NPRM.

OSHA states in the rule that “Although any exemption from OSHA requirements resulting from the preemption of OSHA statutory authority by FRA would apply whether or not the OSHA regulations include any specific exemptions, OSHA believes it is still appropriate to amend the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to include the explicit exemptions for RMMs in the OSHA crane standard. Having the exemptions specified in the OSHA crane standard will provide additional clarity for employers in the railroad industry, including contractors, who may be unfamiliar with the legal implications of FRA’s action.”

The rule is scheduled to go into effect Nov. 16.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

As pandemic continues, don’t lose sight of common worker safety hazards, experts caution

danger-sign.jpg

Photo: Terraxplorer/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD — As the United States approaches six months of adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees mustn’t overlook longtime safety hazards such as falls and electricity.

That was the message from Rodd Weber, a Las Vegas-based corporate safety director at The PENTA Building Group, during an Aug. 13 roundtable webinar hosted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

“I’m not saying to back off of that [attention to COVID-19],” Weber said, “but I would just caution everyone to don’t become so focused on COVID that you lose sight of the fact that we have plenty of other hazards that could literally kill somebody at any given time on a jobsite … much quicker than COVID ever will. And probably, we need to be paying attention a lot more to some of those things. And there certainly has been a distraction this year on some of those issues.

“So, I would just encourage everyone not to take it easy on the COVID stuff, but don’t lose focus of our … hazards that are out there with regard to safety.”

In a July 16 CPWR webinar on contact tracing basics and applications in construction, Travis Parsons, associate director of occupational safety and health for the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America, also spoke about how the complexities of the pandemic have helped create distraction.

“Us in the construction industry all know that there’s a lot of uncertainty going on right now,” Parsons said. “We have a lot of workers that never stopped working – essential workforce. We have a lot of workers now that are returning to work. We have differences depending on your geography, what state you’re in and what the protocols are, so there’s a lot of uncertainty.”


McCraren Compliance sees the solution in our people. We are developing each person into a safety leader by recognizing and valuing them as humans and teaching them to do the same with their co-workers. We are creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.