10 tips for preventing falls at work

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is an annual event. But employers should focus on fall prevention all year.

“Jobsites change and crews come and go – you may have new workers who missed the stand-down and new projects or phases of work with different fall hazards or considerations,” CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training says. The center has 10 tips you can use to support your workplace fall prevention program.

  1. Have another stand-down. If you already had a fall-related stand-down, plan another and change up the activities or specific topics.
  2. Focus on rescue. Do you have a plan in place in the event someone falls? Make sure everyone knows what the plan is.
  3. Create or revise your written fall prevention plan. Put together a task force to develop a project-specific fall protection plan.
  4. Model how to inspect equipment. Supervisors need to provide adequate time for daily inspections, and they should model how to self-inspect fall protection and other equipment.
  5. Partner with community events. Help raise awareness about the importance of fall protection by participating in community events.
  6. Share a testimonial. Invite a previously injured worker or family member to speak in-person, or use video clips or written testimonials.
  7. Include fall protection articles in company communications. Point to a recent construction fall tragedy in the news and urge workers to learn from it.
  8. Provide fall prevention training. Remind supervisors and lead workers that if they work safely and use fall protection correctly, their co-workers are more likely to do so.
  9. Encourage workers to speak up. Workers often stay quiet rather than ask questions, even if they don’t know the right way to do something or they’ve identified an issue that may lead to an unsafe situation.
  10. Make sure your message reaches everyone. Provide training that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for the workforce.

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.

Safe Crane Lifts

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 — A toolbox talk recently published by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training features guidance on planning a safe lift with a crane.

The resource – available in English and Spanish – includes a short story and subsequent questions to consider, safety tips, and a way to communicate how organizations can “stay safe today.”

Among CPWR’s recommendations is to conduct a lift planning meeting with all workers involved before beginning. Additionally, don’t lift a load that exceeds the capacity of the crane or rigging; monitor the weather, ground conditions and other environmental factors; and keep the crane clear of obstructions such as overhead power lines.

“Before a lift, it is important for everyone involved to understand their roles, the hazards associated with rigging and hoisting, and how to safely execute the lift to prevent any injuries or fatalities,” CPWR says.


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.

Fatal Injury Trends in the Construction Industry

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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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.

Working safely with nanomaterials: CPWR publishes new resources

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

Silver Spring, MD — In an effort to protect workers who handle products containing nanomaterials, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training has released a pair of toolbox talks and an infographic.

Nanomaterials have at least one dimension (height, width or length) that is smaller than 100 nanometers – thinner than a human hair. According to CPWR, hundreds of construction products such as cement, adhesives, and paints and coatings contain engineered nanomaterials. When these materials are cut, sanded or sprayed, the dust or mist produced can get into a worker’s lungs as well as cuts and cracks in the skin.

Each toolbox talk – Airborne Exposures When Working with Nano-Enabled Concrete and Right to Know About Chemical Hazards: Nanomaterials – provides guidance through a short story, key points to remember and a graphic.

CPWR says workers can protect themselves by wearing a respirator, seeking training about nanomaterials and the products that contain them, and controlling for dust via wet methods or the use of a vacuum.

The resources are available in English and Spanish.


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, surface mining workers from silica dust: CPWR publishes new resources

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Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Three new resources from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training are intended to help prevent silica exposure among construction and surface mining workers who operate mobile equipment in enclosed cabs.

The hazard alert card, toolbox talk, and dealer/rental fact sheet are available in English and Spanish.

In the hazard alert, CPWR advises that, before work begins, cabs of mobile equipment be examined for issues with:
The air filtration system: Inspect filters for damage or airflow bypass.
The cab structure: Inspect daily for any holes, gaps or cracks around doors, windows, joints, controls and power-line entries. Silicone caulk or rubber gaskets can be used to repair and seal damaged areas.
Air pressure: Check the pressure gauge daily to ensure it’s working properly, and monitor the pressure throughout the workday to ensure positive air pressure is maintained and dusty air is kept out.

Enclosed cabs should have a communication system that allows operators to speak with other workers without having to open a door or window. Cabs should be cleaned and properly maintained to ensure proper working order of closing mechanisms, gaskets and all seals.

The toolbox talk tells the story of Grace and the result of her exposure to silica dust at work, and the fact sheet is designed to help businesses that rent or sell equipment understand the requirements of OSHA and Mine Safety and Health Administration standards on silica dust.

McCraren Compliance can help. We offer Silica training and Protection Plans required by OSHA.

‘No two roofs are basically alike’: CPWR hosts webinar on fall protection

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Photo: nycshooter/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD — Roofers face an increased risk of fatal falls to a lower level compared with other construction subgroups, making fall protection strategies a vital component of roof work planning and training.

That was the message of an April 16 webinar hosted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training in conjunction with the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Multiple NRCA officials spotlighted basics of fall prevention and protection. “Of course, the challenge with roofing is that no two roofs are basically alike,” said Thomas Shanahan, the association’s vice president of enterprise risk management and executive education. “It’s a very dynamic versus static workplace, so it’s always changing, and so we have to be ever mindful of what are our options – what are the things we can be doing to protect workers so we plan for that.”

According to CPWR research released in 2019, although roofers experienced fewer fatal falls in 2017, the rate of fatal falls within the subgroup stood at 35.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers – more than 10 times greater than the rate of all construction occupations combined.

The speakers highlighted the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction – a joint effort of NIOSH, OSHA and CPWR – which offers three core steps to preventing falls:

  • Plan ahead to get the job done safely
  • Provide the right equipment
  • Train everyone to use the equipment safely

In the event of a fall, Rich Trewyn, director of enterprise risk management at NRCA, said the two basic elements of rescue are delaying orthostatic shock while suspended, also known as suspension trauma, and bringing the fallen worker to a support surface such as the ground or roof. Carefully handle the fallen worker to ensure he or she is in a comfortable position, and call 911.

“All of this rescue portion is all about preplanning, and planning for an event that really isn’t going to be easy to plan for,” Trewyn said. “But it’s something that we can do, it’s something that we can practice for and make sure that we’re training our employees in the proper way.”

In the introduction to the webinar, Scott Ketcham, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, discussed the agency’s efforts to mitigate “Construction Focus Four” hazards: caught-in or caught-between incidents, electrocution, falls, and struck-by incidents.

Citing data from the OSHA Information System database, Ketcham also displayed the agency’s “Top 10” list of most cited standards for construction for fiscal year 2019, noting that six involved an element of fall protection. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) topped the list with 6,881 violations, while Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) ranked fourth with 2,015.

With OSHA recently deciding to postpone the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ketcham gave updates on other planned outreach events in which the agency is involved. The Heat Illness Prevention campaign is on for the spring and summer; the Trench Safety Stand-Down remains “tentatively” scheduled for June 15-19; and Safe + Sound Week, slated for Aug. 10-16, is set to proceed as scheduled.

Small Construction Contractors See Increase in Fatalities

Accidental deaths are rising for workers at small construction firms while dropping for larger companies, a new report shows.

Between 2008 and 2016, the fatality rate for construction firms with fewer than 20 employees rose 57 percent, according to the study by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. In contrast, fatalities at firms with 20 or more employees dropped 30 percent. Read more»