New poster: OSHA requirements for mechanical service and construction work on low-slope roofs

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: Mechanical Contractors Association of America

Rockville, MD — OSHA requirements for mechanical service and mechanical construction on low-slope roofs – and the differences between them – are the topic of a new poster from the Mechanical Contractors Association of America.

Mechanical service is covered under OSHA’s general industry standards (1910), while mechanical construction is covered under the agency’s construction standards (1926).

According to MCAA, OSHA’s position on mechanical service is that the work “does not meet the definition of ‘temporary and infrequent’ if the job task takes longer than it would to install or set up fall protection, and the task is performed more than once a month, once a year or when needed.”

On the poster, MCA says it’s “working to establish a reasonable interpretation of the standard.”

For mechanical construction, workers must use fall prevention systems or fall protection when working 6 feet or more above a lower level. No safe distance exists for a worker to perform tasks without fall protection on a low-slope roof in this situation. (One exception involving a 15-foot or longer warning line is detailed in the poster.)

MCAA represents around 2,600 companies involved in heating, ventilating and air conditioning; refrigeration; plumbing; piping; and mechanical service.


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.

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.

National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction coming in May

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Washington — The ninth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is set for May 2-6.

The voluntary event is intended to prevent fall-related deaths and injuries by raising awareness of hazards. Falls from elevation accounted for 351 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

OSHA encourages all workplaces to participate by hosting an event, which can include a toolbox talk or a safety activity such as developing rescue plans, conducting safety equipment inspections or discussing job-specific hazards. Workers can take the opportunity to share fall or other job hazards with management.

The agency invites employers to share their stand-down stories by emailing oshastanddown@dol.gov or using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety on social media.

On Jan. 27, OSHA partner CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training will host a webinar on the importance of a year-round falls program. Registration is required.


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.

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.

Construction safety report looks at hazard prevention for human-robot interactions

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: CPWR

Silver Spring, MD — To help assess and quantify human-robot interaction safety hazards on construction worksites, a recently published report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training details a newly developed practical process and tools for practitioners.

CPWR researchers looked at hazards linked to the use of robotics and automation, such as drones, exoskeletons and “single-task” construction robots. They identified 40 such hazards and classified them into seven groups, including unauthorized access or operational situation awareness, mechanical concerns, power systems, and improper installation.

The researchers developed safety risk ratings for three kinds of robotics and automation – wearable robots, remote-operated robots and automated robots onsite – for three kinds of construction tasks (bricklaying, drywall installation, and concrete grinding and polishing).

From there, the researchers developed 22 preventive strategies and created a process for assessing and controlling hazards related to human-robot interaction. The process includes Safety Data Sheets on the use of exoskeletons, remote-operated robots and onsite automated robots, such as those involved in bricklaying. Also included are Job Hazard Analysis protocols for different tasks.

The report features descriptions of available robotics and automation technologies, applications of those technologies, factors that influence the use of those technologies, and current standards and procedures.


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.

Tower Crane Safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

New toolbox talk from CPWR

Silver Spring, MD — Safe use of tower cranes – typically used to construct skyscrapers and other large structures – is the subject of a recently published toolbox talk from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Available in English and Spanish, the toolbox talk includes a short story and discussion questions, safety tips, and a way to communicate how organizations can “stay safe today.”

CPWR reminds employers that any worker involved in a lift must be licensed/certified and trained, if appropriate. A qualified person needs to inspect the crane, and wind speed should be monitored. No one should stand under a crane while it’s being assembled or disassembled, and no one should stand under a suspended load at any time.

“If they are not properly inspected, maintained or operated, [tower cranes] can create serious hazards on construction sites,” CPWR says. “Fatalities and injuries can occur from the crane collapsing, electrocutions, or being struck by a load or part of the crane.”


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 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.

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.