Use scaffolding safely

Original article published by Safety+Health

Rounding out the top five on OSHA’s Top 10 list of most cited violations for fiscal year 2022 is scaffolding (1926.451), with 2,285 violations. Violations of this standard are a mainstay on the list year after year.

Use these tips from the Texas Department of Insurance to help your workers safely use scaffolding:
Use proper safety equipment. Is your employee working on a scaffold more than 10 feet off the ground? If so, they need to use personal fall arrest systems or guardrails. “Employees on single-point and two-point adjustable scaffolds must be protected using guardrails and personal fall arrest systems.” Also: “Many scaffold-related injuries involve falling objects or slips. Wear a hard hat and nonslip footwear to prevent serious injuries.”
Be aware of load limits. Scaffolds need to support four times the maximum intended load without failure, OSHA says.
Build properly. First, make sure workers are following the manufacturer’s instructions when constructing the scaffold. Then, they should avoid power lines by leaving at least 10 feet of clearance between electrical hazards and the construction. Next, a competent person must supervise the building, moving and dismantling of scaffolding, as well as inspect it before each shift and when work is done.
Keep the area organized and clear. Clutter can lead to trips and falls or cause hazards for workers on lower levels, so workers need to keep their tools and equipment organized and put away after they’re done using it.
Train all employees. Workers who use scaffolds should be trained to recognize, control and reduce hazards. Your training should include proper setup, use and handling of materials – “taking into account the intended load and type of scaffold used.”


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 Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction set for May 1-5

Original article published by Safety+Health

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Washington — The 10th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is slated for May 1-5.

The voluntary event is intended to prevent fall-related deaths and injuries by raising awareness of hazards. Falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death in the industry, accounting 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. On its website, the agency shares highlights of past events from around the country.

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


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.

Drone use in construction can distract workers and increase risk of falls: CPWR

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: Courtesy of 3D Robotics 

Silver Spring, MD — As the use of drone technology in the construction industry expands, so too do safety concerns related to worker distraction and potential collisions while operating at height.

That’s the conclusion of researchers from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, who in a recent study analyzed the behaviors of 153 participants “with varying construction experience” in a virtual construction site.

Findings show that working with or near drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, “reduces the attention workers devote to the task at hand, which could result in falls when they are at height.” Workers operating while drones were 12 and 25 feet away looked away from job tasks more frequently than when drones were 1.5 and 4 feet away.

Additionally, working with drones at any distance contributes to “significant” psychological or emotional distress. Workers may feel as though they’re constantly being monitored. They also might be fearful of being struck by a drone, as they already operate in high-risk environments at height.

2021 survey conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with CPWR, among other organizations, found that 37% of construction contractors use drones on worksites, while an additional 6% anticipated future use. Still, the study concluded that construction workers “generally have a negative attitude” toward working with or near drones.

To help ensure safe integration of drones in construction, CPWR advises employers to:

  • Train workers. “There are currently no specific OSHA standards or guidelines regarding UAVs on construction sites, so training workers is even more critical. The training content needs to be developed to not only educate workers about UAVs, but also help familiarize them with working alongside UAVs.” CPWR says virtual reality training carries multiple benefits and may help workers view drones “less negatively.”
  • Design drones to “limit the frequency and severity of risks” they pose to workers and minimize crash impact.
  • Prepare worksites to ensure drones “work efficiently and safely around workers,” accounting for factors that include drone size and shape, flight path, and weather conditions.

CPWR also suggests using the Hierarchy of Controls to assist with hazard prevention. When possible, schedule work so employees aren’t present in areas in which drones are operating. Use drones only for operations that provide “significant benefits” over traditional work methods, and isolate workers from drones when no substitute for drone use exists.


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.

Preventing suicide and overdose in the construction industry: Takeaways from CPWR workshop

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: CPWR

Washington — A new white paper from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training details key takeaways from a two-day workshop on “Combating Suicide and Overdose Fatalities Among Construction Workers.”

The workshop took place Aug. 1-2 in the nation’s capital and was funded by NIOSH.

The white paper outlines training available to help workers, best practices for training effectiveness, and smartphone apps to use and hotlines to call when a worker is in need. The resource also looks at related challenges, such as stigma.

CPWR Executive Director Chris Trahan Cain highlights research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that both male and female workers in construction and extraction jobs “have a higher prevalence of dying by suicide than the average male or female worker.”


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.

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.

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.

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.