Improving nanomaterial Safety Data Sheets: CPWR launches e-tool

Original article published by Safety+Health
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Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — A new e-tool from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training is intended to help manufacturers, distributors and importers of products that contain nanomaterials strengthen their Safety Data Sheets.

The free, interactive Nano Safety Data Sheet Improvement Tool poses to users a series of questions to help evaluate their existing SDSs, and then generates a report with recommendations for improvement. That report is based on the 16 sections of an SDS required by OSHA that follow specifications of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

Nanomaterials – materials that have at least one dimension (height, width or length) that’s smaller than 100 nanometers – are chemical substances whose microscopic size gives them properties they don’t possess in their larger form.

CPWR has identified more than 800 nanomaterials that are increasingly being used in construction. Those materials include sealants, coatings, paints, concrete, flooring, lubricants and roofing materials. When workers use the materials, they can be exposed to fumes, gases, vapors and dust containing nanomaterials, which can present health hazards.

Knowing which materials could be hazardous allows workers to take precautions to mitigate the risks, according to CPWR, which says SDSs for these products should clearly identify nanomaterials that are present and offer information on potential safety and health risks.

2019 study led by Laura Hodson, the retired coordinator of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center, revealed that only 3% of the nanomaterial SDSs evaluated were satisfactory and 79% needed significant improvement.


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.

CPWR: Construction industry accounts for about half of job-related electrical deaths

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Roughly half of the fatal workplace injuries related to electricity exposure in a recent 10-year period occurred in construction, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Using 2011-2020 data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, researchers identified 1,501 fatal occupational electrical injuries in all industries. Of those, 49.1% involved construction workers. Additionally, 24.4% of nonfatal electrical injuries occurred in construction. CPWR says the industry employs 7% of the U.S. workforce.

Overall, fatal injuries were more often a result of direct exposure (58.8%) than indirect (38.9%). Direct exposure is associated with contacting a live wire, while indirect exposure may include operating a crane that touches a power line.

The researchers also analyzed OSHA enforcement data. Among their findings:

  • In 2020, establishments with fewer than 10 employees accounted for 71.5% of OSHA citations for violations of federal electrical standards, while comprising 81.4% of establishments overall.
  • By North American Industry Classification System code, 70.5% of citations for electrical standards involved specialty trade contractors; the NAICS code for construction of buildings (26.1%) and heavy and civil engineering construction (3.4%) followed. Specialty trade contractors accounted for 71.1% of fatal electrical injuries.
  • OSHA citations for violations of federal electrical standards decreased 73.5% from 2011 to 2021. Electrical standard citations comprised 2.7% of citations in construction in 2021 – down from 6.5% in 2011.

The report was published in the November issue 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.

Study shows that texting toolbox talks to supervisors helps make safety meetings happen

Original article published by Safety + Health

Portland, OR — A recent study of residential construction supervisors in Oregon who received toolbox talks via text messages showed that their compliance with Oregon OSHA’s standard on safety meetings increased – and the delivery method was welcomed.

Researchers sent seven different toolbox talks, based on Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation reports, to 56 supervisors via text every two weeks for three months. Results show that adherence to the agency’s standard, which requires at least one safety meeting a month and a meeting before the start of each job that lasts more than a week, rose 19.4% among the participants.

“We were able to see that using mobile phone technology to disseminate these toolbox talks was feasible and desirable among supervisors,” study co-author Sean Rice, a biostatistician with the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at Oregon Health and Sciences University, told Safety+Health. “We were able to do it, and people seemed to like it.”

Topics of the toolbox talks included falls from a scaffold, a ladder, through a skylight and down an elevator shaft. The supervisors also received a link to access the online toolbox talk libraries of Oregon FACE and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. The supervisors were asked to use the featured toolbox talk when it was appropriate for their jobsite’s safety concerns and work phase, or find one from one of the libraries that better suited their needs.

The researchers also asked the supervisors about how they communicated the toolbox talks to their workers. While 54% either read the talk or printed documents to share, 41% said they preferred toolbox talks in a video or audio format.


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.

Steer clear of injury when using skid-steer loaders

Original article published by Safety + Health

Skid-steer loaders, often used on construction sites for excavating and other tasks, have features that expose workers to many injury risks, including caught-between incidents and rollovers. Although these machines are equipped with protective systems such as seat belts and rollover protection, injuries continue to occur.

Help keep workers safe with these tips from the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health:

  • Stay seated when operating the loader controls.
  • Wear the seat belt.
  • Keep your hands, arms, legs and head inside the operator’s compartment while operating the loader.
  • Load, unload and turn on level ground, when possible.
  • Travel and turn with the bucket in the lowest position possible.
  • Don’t exceed the manufacturer’s recommended load capacity.
  • Operate on stable surfaces only.
  • Travel straight up or down slopes with the heavy end of the machine pointed uphill.
  • Always look in the direction the loader is traveling.
  • Keep other workers away from the loader’s work area.
  • Don’t modify or bypass safety devices.

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 industry survey finds lack of training on preventing struck-bys

Original article published by Safety + Health

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Source: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Nearly 4 out of 5 construction employers, supervisors and workers say their organization needs training on identifying and preventing struck-by hazards, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Researchers surveyed 208 individuals, 88% of whom have more than 10 years of experience in the construction industry. Most respondents – 77.9% and 72.7%, respectively – believe their organization needs to institute training to identify and prevent struck-by hazards, as well as conduct job hazard analyses before work or new tasks begin.

Further, the results show that the leading causes of struck-by injuries are working around heavy equipment or vehicles (35.6%) and falling or flying objects from work performed at height (29.8%). The employers identified three primary barriers to engaging in practices to prevent struck-by injuries: lack of understanding or information to address hazards (26.9%), scheduling pressure (25.5%), and lack of training in hazard identification and prevention (23.1%).

“Developing a training program for those involved in the planning process, which covers struck-by hazard identification, how to conduct job hazard analyses and best practices for prevention, would address the biggest barriers and support more effective planning and decision-making,” CPWR says.

Still, “filling knowledge and training gaps does not guarantee that companies and their employees will engage in safe practices,” CPWR cautions. The organization says the results show that employees with stop-work authority often enforce safe practices, and suggests “further exploration of stop-work authority’s use in the construction industry and how it could be used to reduce struck-by incidents may be warranted.”


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.

What causes falls in construction? CPWR survey digs in

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Lack of pre-work planning is a key underlying cause of falls in the construction industry, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

CPWR distributed the survey from February to May 2021 and received 495 responses from people who had been involved in, witnessed or investigated a fall incident.

More than a quarter (26.9%) of the incidents reportedly were fatal and 58.9% required immediate medical care.

The respondents most commonly identified insufficient or ineffective pre-work planning as the primary cause for the falls (27.4%). Notably, the odds of using fall protection were 71% lower for workers whose employer or competent person didn’t complete a pre-work task plan.

Other key findings:

  • 48.8% of the respondents said no fall protection was being used at the time of the incident.
  • Workers who believed fall protection was required by their employer were eight times more likely to use it than those who thought it was optional.
  • Individuals who worked for a subcontractor at the time of the fall incident were 2.7 times more likely to die from the fall compared with those who worked for a general contractor.

“Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, and they are preventable,” CPWR says. “This study provides actionable findings about leading root causes of falls and identifies opportunities for future research to better understand this urgent occupational safety issue and effectively address it.”


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.

COVID-19 and Construction

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

CPWR report highlights pandemic’s impacts

Silver Spring, MD — The rate of nonfatal illnesses in the construction industry jumped 81.4% during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the annual average for the previous four years, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Using data from that covered different time periods from 2016 to 2022, researchers found that the rate of nonfatal illnesses in the construction industry increased to 12.7 per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2020 from an average of 7.0 per 10,000 FTEs over the four previous years. Overall, around 8,700 nonfatal illnesses were recorded in 2020, compared with an annual average of 4,600 over the previous four years.

The number of nonfatal respiratory illnesses increased to 5,300 in 2020 from an annual average of 425 from 2016 to 2019. That equates to a large spike in the rate per 10,000 FTEs, to 7.7 from 0.6 – a 1,183% increase.

Looking at COVID-19 vaccination rates by major occupational category in May, construction and extraction workers (52.4%) trailed all others and lagged far behind the percentage for all industries, which was 81.7. Those workers’ top reasons for not getting vaccinated, according to a Delphi Group survey that allowed respondents to choose more than one, were:

  • Distrust of COVID-19 vaccines (61.4%)
  • Distrust of the government (59.2%)
  • Don’t need a vaccine (58.7%)
  • Worried about side effects (55.8%)

“Construction work was deemed essential early in the pandemic,” the report states. “One of the most important steps to keeping construction workers safe on the worksite is the COVID-19 vaccine. The dramatic increases in nonfatal respiratory illnesses among construction workers highlight the pandemic’s impact on construction worker safety and health and the need for vaccinations.”

CPWR highlights its COVID-19 Construction Clearinghouse among its resources “on the science and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.”


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.

NIOSH to Host Free Webinars on Preventing Struck-By Incidents

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: CPWR

Washington — The third annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents – set for April 11-15 – will feature four free webinars, including one in Spanish.

The event, scheduled in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness Week, is aimed at raising awareness of struck-by hazards and ways to prevent them. According to OSHA, the four most common struck-by hazards involve flying, falling, swinging or rolling objects. The webinars, hosted by NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda Construction Sector Council, are (all times Eastern):

NIOSH encourages employers to pause work during the stand-down to present a safety talk, conduct equipment inspections and/or discuss common struck-by hazards in construction. Discussions on training, hazards, protective methods, and company safety policies and goals also are encouraged.

Downloadable resources related to work zone, lift zone and heavy equipment safety are available online from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. They include two webinars from the last year’s event, along with links to more than 25 toolbox talks, infographics, data bulletins and blog posts.

NIOSH is partnering with OSHA, CPWR, and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association on the stand-down.


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.

Electrical hazards in construction: OSHA and others to host webinar

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Electrical hazards in construction: OSHA

Photo property of OSHA

Protecting construction workers from electrical hazards is the topic of a March 22 webinar hosted by OSHA and a trio of organizations.

Scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern, the 90-minute webinar will be moderated by Kevin Cannon, director of safety and health services at the Associated General Contractors of America. Panelists are:

  • Nicholas DeJesse, OSHA regional administrator
  • Rocky Rowlett, vice president of safety at Faith Technologies
  • Scott Sears, director of safety and loss control at Walker Engineering
  • Jessica Bunting, research to practice director at CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

“Two experienced electrical contractors will discuss workplace safety risks faced by their employees and how they keep their workers safe,” a Department of Labor press release states. “Related research and evidence-based solutions for addressing safety hazards will be provided by a Center to Protect Workers’ Rights representative.” Electrical hazards in construction: OSHA

Time will be reserved for a Q&A session.


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. Electrical hazards in construction: OSHA

Respiratory protection

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

NIOSH publishes toolbox talk

NIOSH respiratory protection

Photo: NIOSH

Washington — Knowing how to select, use and maintain NIOSH-approved respirators can help promote proper respiratory protection practices and protect construction workers from unsafe airborne contaminants, according to a new toolbox talk published by the agency.

NIOSH encourages employers to examine all avenues to reduce worker exposure to potentially dangerous dusts and fumes.

Among the first steps should be to try to eliminate or replace the hazard, implement engineering controls (e.g., local exhaust ventilation), or implement administrative controls (e.g., rotating workers between hazardous tasks). When these controls aren’t feasible or are insufficient in reducing harmful exposures, respiratory protection must be properly selected and users must be fit tested. Workers also must be trained and follow both employer and manufacturer instructions for proper use, inspection, maintenance and storage of respiratory protection devices. This includes proper donning and doffing of devices.

The agency reminds employers that they’re responsible for providing NIOSH-approved respirators as necessary to protect worker health, as required by OSHA in its standards on respiratory protection.

Among the types of devices that can be used to protect workers are filtering facepiece respirators; elastomeric half-mask respirators; and half-mask, full-facepiece and hood/helmet powered air-purifying respirators. For any employer providing respirators, the process must include direction from an OSHA-required written respiratory protection program.

NIOSH’s respiratory protection webpage features answers to nearly 20 frequently asked questions.

In addition, NIOSH sets recommended exposure limits for airborne contaminants and OSHA mandates legal enforceable permissible exposure limits, with which employers are required to comply.


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.