OSHA announces stand-down on preventing construction worker suicides

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Image from CPWR

OSHA is urging employers in the construction industry to take part in a weeklong safety stand-down to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

Slated for Sept. 6-10, the Suicide Prevention Safety Stand-Down coincides with National Suicide Prevention Month. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published last year concluded that male construction workers have one of the highest suicide rates when compared with other industries and are at four times greater risk than the general public.

“Work-related stress can have severe impacts on mental health and, without proper support, may lead to substance abuse and even suicide,” Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick said in the release. “Workers in construction face many work-related stressors that may increase their risk factors for suicide, such as the uncertainty of seasonal work, demanding schedules and workplace injuries that are sometimes treated with opioids.”

An OSHA press release highlights a number of the agency’s resources that employers can use during the weeklong event, as well as others produced by construction industry groups. The agency has assembled a task force to help raise awareness on the types of stress that construction workers may face.

OSHA’s regional offices in Kansas City and St. Louis initiated the first stand-down last year in partnership with The Builders’ Association, the Associated General Contractors of Missouri, the University of Iowa, Washington University, the University of Kansas, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, local worker unions and several employers. The event included more than 5,000 participants, the release states.

                                                       

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.

Temporary power safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Temporary Power Safety is important in many industries - McCraren

Contact with electricity is one of the leading causes of fatalities in construction, according to OSHA.

Temporary power is allowed only for construction; remodeling; maintenance; repair; demolition of buildings, structures or equipment; or similar activities.

To ensure proper safety procedures are met when working with or around temporary power, temporary wiring should be designed and installed by a qualified electrician according to National Fire Protection Association 70E requirements. The qualified electrician can ensure the temporary power has the capacity to supply all connected loads. Other temporary power safety tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International:

  • Temporary power equipment on a worksite should be protected from vehicle traffic, accessible only to authorized persons and suitable for the environmental conditions that may be present.
  • Establish a time frame of when temporary power will be removed or switched over to permanent power.
  • Inspect cords and wiring for damage or alterations, and remove any that aren’t in good working condition.
  • Make sure equipment, receptacles, and flexible cords and cables are properly grounded.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter protection is required for all 125-volt, 15-, 20- and 30-ampere receptacle outlets. Listed cord sets or devices incorporating listed GFCI protection for portable use are permitted. Other receptacle outlets should be GFCI protected.
  • Test GFCIs monthly.

Once a project is complete, ESFI says that temporary power must be removed.


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.

OSHA Provides Additional Resources to Prevent Heat Illness and Death on Construction Jobsites

Prevent Heat Illness and Death on Construction Jobsites

Photo property of OSHA

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 40% of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry.  As with all incidents, heat illness is entirely preventable, provided you develop and implement the appropriate preventive measures.

On July 15, OSHA released additional materials to educate the workforce on heat illness prevention. These resources include:

These add to the materials OSHA issued on July 2, which include:

Visit osha.gov for heat planning and supervision and heat illness prevention guidance to help you protect your workers. Also, visit your app store to download the Heat Safety Tool smartphone app from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, which provides the heat index (temperature and relative humidity), symptoms of and first aid treatment for heat illness, FAQs and additional tips for working in the heat.


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.

Research review strengthens link between sarcoidosis, workplace exposures

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Toronto — Findings over the past decade – including the results of case studies in the past two to three years – have strengthened the link between the lung disease sarcoidosis and on-the-job exposures to, most notably, silica and silicates, dust from the World Trade Center, and metals, according to a recent research review.

Conducted by a pair of Canadian researchers, the review of epidemiologic studies includes a Swedish study of nearly 11,000 workers that showed respirable crystalline silica exposure among concrete workers, miners, casters, masons, and ceramic and glass manufacturers led to an increased risk of sarcoidosis, described by the National Institutes of Health as “an inflammatory disease characterized by the development and growth of tiny lumps of cells called granulomas,” which, if they clump together in an organ, “can lead to permanent scarring or thickening of the organ tissue.”

A nearly twofold disease risk increase was discovered in a study of almost 298,000 Swedish construction workers with medium to high silica exposure. Among Swedish iron foundry workers with high exposure to silica, researchers observed a higher risk for both sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

A study of New York City firefighters showed that cases of a sarcoid-like pulmonary disease occurred at a rate of 12.9 cases per 100,000 workers from 1985 to 1998. In the 12 months after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, that rate rose to 86 cases per 100,000 workers.

Although the two researchers note that not all sarcoidosis cases have an identified cause, recognizing occupational causes is important. When the cause of the disease is work-related, the duo says its recognition is critical “to enable effective treatment through the removal of the affected worker from exposure and to inform intervention aimed at primary prevention.”

The researchers also note that because of a more firm link to on-the-job exposures, the practice of assigning sarcoidosis cases as idiopathic by default should be discontinued.

The study was published online June 5 in the journal CHEST.


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.

Construction workers at higher risk of COPD, study shows

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Silver Spring, MD — Workers in construction trades are at “significantly” higher risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than non-construction workers, according to the results of a recent study.

A team of researchers from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, Duke University and the University of Maryland studied nearly 18,000 participants in the Building Trades Medical Screening Program, or BTMed, to determine the risk of COPD among different trades. The study involved a larger cohort than a 2010 study of construction workers at U.S. Department of Energy nuclear facilities who participated in the BTMed. Those workers were found to have increased COPD risk, according to CPWR.

Overall, 13.4% of the participants had COPD and more than two-thirds of the cases were classified as moderate to severe. Compared with non-construction workers, the participants had a 1.34 times greater risk of COPD and a 1.61 times higher risk of severe COPD.

The trades with the highest level of risk were cement masons/bricklayers (2.36 times) and roofers (2.22).

Based on the new findings, the researchers say additional preventive measures are needed to reduce workplace exposures to vapors, gases, dusts and fumes to reduce the risk of COPD. In addition, workers who smoke can benefit from cessation support and advice.

The study was published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.


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.

Construction Initiative

First published by OSHA

US Department of Labor implements initiative to conduct random, weekend
safety inspections to protect construction workers from falls, trench collapses

‘Weekend Work’ initiative will identify safety concerns in 10 counties

DENVER – As work at construction project sites increases in Colorado’s Front Range, more workers may find themselves exposed to falls and trenching and excavation hazards. Over the last two years, at least six workers have suffered fatal falls, and nearly a dozen excavation collapses and trenching incidents have led to the deaths of three workers in Colorado.

To make these work sites safer, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has implemented a “Weekend Work” initiative in which federal workplace safety and health inspections will occur randomly on weekends in Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson, El Paso, Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Larimer and Weld counties. OSHA’s area offices in Denver and Englewood will continue these inspections into the fall of 2021.

“Our Weekend Work initiative will identify and address construction-related hazards at worksites in 10 different counties along the Front Range on days when worksites often go unchecked,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Nancy Hauter in Denver. “This is a proactive effort to identify hazardous worksites and to ensure workers end their shifts safely.”

Learn more about OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation standardsRead about how to protect workers from fall hazards in construction.


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.

2021 Trench Safety Stand Down

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

trenching.jpg

Fairfax, VA — As part of Trench Safety Month, the National Utility Contractors Association, in conjunction with OSHA, is urging employers involved in trench work to participate in the sixth annual Trench Safety Stand Down.

Set to take place June 14-18, the event is intended to raise awareness of the dangers of trenching and excavation while highlighting the use of protective systems such as sloping, shoring and shielding. OSHA’s standard for trenching and excavation (29 CFR 1926.650, Subpart P) requires protective systems for trenches that are 5 feet or deeper, unless the excavation occurs in stable rock.

According to OSHA, trench collapses claim the lives of two workers each month.

NUCA and OSHA are providing free online tools for the event, such as posters, checklists, fact sheets and videos. Additionally, NUCA and United Rentals are collaborating on a webinar series throughout the week.

“NUCA and the utility construction industry members seek out every measure possible to reduce risks on our jobsites, which we all know can be a dangerous place to work if someone is unaware of its hazards,” the association says in a press release.

NUCA encourages the use of the hashtag #TrenchSafetyMonth on social media to promote the stand-down and other related events throughout June.


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.

National Forklift Safety Day 2021

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — A panel of safety experts and industry and government representatives will talk about training, proper forklift operation and maintenance June 8 as part of a free, virtual National Forklift Safety Day program organized by the Industrial Truck Association and DC Velocity.

In 2019, incidents involving forklifts accounted for 79 fatal on-the-job injuries and 8,140 nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work, according to Injury Facts – a National Safety Council database.

In fiscal year 2020, OSHA’s standard on powered industrial trucks (1910.178) was the seventh most cited standard, with two of the top three sections cited within the standard pertaining to operator training.

“We understand there is a critical need for effective forklift operator training,” ITA President Brian Feehan said in a press release, “and ITA’s National Forklift Safety Day is meant to keep that discussion at the forefront year after year.”

Feehan is among a scheduled group of speakers that includes Joseph “Chip” Hughes, OSHA’s deputy assistant secretary for pandemic and emergency response, and Mike Field, chair of the NFSD task force.


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.

Rate of nonfatal struck-by injuries in construction falls between 2011 and 2019: CPWR report

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

Silver Spring, MD — The rate of nonfatal construction worker injuries resulting from struck-by incidents decreased 20% over a recent nine-year period, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Using 2011-2019 data from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, researchers calculated a rate of 23.4 nonfatal struck-by injuries per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2019 – down from 29.3 in 2011. Additionally, in 2019, the private construction industry reported 20,600 nonfatal struck-by injuries, which accounted for 25.8% of total nonfatal injuries reported in construction.

The report was published in the April issue of CPWR’s Data Bulletin.

In other CPWR developments, the organization recently released a series of infographics related to several leading causes of construction injuries and fatalities, as well as resources related to falls, head protection and struck-by hazards.

To prevent struck-by injuries and fatalities, CPWR advises workers to:

  • Never work under a load.
  • Stay outside the swing radius of cranes and backhoes.
  • Tether tools to a work belt when working from height.
  • Wear high-visibility clothing and proper safety gear.
  • Create zones that separate workers and pedestrians from moving vehicles and heavy mobile equipment.

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.

National Work Zone Awareness Week 2021

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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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.