Annual ‘Death on the Job’ report part of Workers’ Memorial Week

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Photo: AFL-CIO

Washington — “The nation must renew its commitment to protecting workers from job injury, disease and death, and make this a high priority,” the AFL-CIO says in its annual report on the state of safety and health protections for U.S. workers.

Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect is published annually during the week of Workers’ Memorial Day – observed on April 28 to honor people who have lost their lives on the job. It highlights state and federal data on work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses, as well on worker protections.

In 2020, the number of workplace deaths decreased to 4,764 from 5,333 in the previous year, while the national fatality rate dropped to 3.4 per 100,000 workers from 3.5, the report states. However, AFL-CIO points out that the total excludes the “many thousands who died from being exposed to COVID-19 at work,” in part because “employer reporting of COVID-19 cases still is mandatory only in a few states with specific standards or orders.”

Also from the report:

  • Workplace violence accounted for 705 deaths, including 392 homicides, and was the fourth leading cause of workplace deaths behind transportation incidents (1,778 deaths); slips, trips and falls (805); and contact with objects or equipment (716).
  • Black and Latino workers were at greater risk of dying on the job. The fatality rate for Blacks (3.5 per 100,000 workers) and Latinos (4.5) remains higher than the national average, with the rate for Latino workers climbing 15% over the past decade.
  • A third of the deaths involved workers 55 and older, while those 65 and older had a fatality rate of 8.6 per 100,000 workers.
  • The agriculture, forestry, and fishing and hunting industry had the highest fatality rate, at 21.5 per 100,000 workers. Transportation and warehousing (13.4) and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (10.5) followed.

“Employers must meet their responsibilities to protect workers and be held accountable if they put workers in danger. Only then can the promise of safe jobs for all of America’s workers be fulfilled,” the AFL-CIO said. “There is much more work to be done to ensure the fundamental right to a safe job is a reality for all.”

In a press release recognizing Workers’ Memorial Day, Labor Secretary Mary Walsh said that although each workplace death is tragic, lives “taken in incidents that might have been prevented – had their employers followed required safety and health standards – are especially painful.”

He continued: “While we have made much progress toward safer workplaces, we must do more to ensure that employers understand and take responsibility for addressing workplace hazards and keep them from causing workplace fatalities. As our economy continues its recovery, we are determined to empower workers as well so they can recognize the hazards around them, and demand their rights to a safe workplace without fear of retaliation.”

Other prominent voices from the occupational safety and health community offered their views on Workers’ Memorial Day.

“As we commemorate Worker’s Memorial Day, we remember that behind every fatality number is a worker,” NIOSH Director John Howard writes in an agency blog post. “Someone who has family, friends, community and a life. NIOSH remains committed to protecting workers across occupations and industries, addressing threats to workers’ safety, health and well-being, and collaborating with partners to address emerging and long-standing risks.”

Chris Cain, executive director of CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, said in a press release that the observance “offers people and organizations two important opportunities: to remember those who have died and to strengthen their commitment to make sure every worker comes home safely every day.”

Cain added: “Remember that workers alone cannot create safe jobsites – it also takes the dedication of owners, contractors, managers, government officials and many others.”


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 Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents set for April

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 is expanding to a full week from a one-day event.

Set to take place April 11-15, the stand-down is a collaborative effort led by NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda Construction Sector Council. 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 are being struck by a flying, falling, swinging or rolling object.

CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training and the NORA Construction Sector Council’s struck-by work group have scheduled a series of webinars throughout the week. Topics will include work zone safety, lift zone safety, heavy equipment and dropped objects.

CPWR also is offering various online resources, including infographics, toolbox talks, research and two on-demand webinars from last year’s stand-down: Cranes & Lifting – Avoiding Struck-By Incidents Under the Hook and Preventing Struck-By Incidents: Learning by Experience.


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.

Anxiety and depression in construction workers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Image from CPWR

Silver Spring, MD — Symptoms of anxiety and depression among construction workers have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among women and workers living in poverty, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Anxiety and depression are of particular importance in the construction industry, CPWR notes, citing a 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that concluded male construction workers have one of the highest suicide rates among all industries and are at four times greater risk than the general public.

Using 2011-2018 and 2020 data from the National Health Interview Survey, researchers examined self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression among construction workers to uncover any potential patterns and changes amid the pandemic. During the time frame prior to the pandemic, the number of construction workers who reported feeling anxious at least once a month rose 20%.

Among a subset of nearly 1,300 construction workers who were surveyed in both 2019 and 2020, 43% reported a rise in the level or frequency of anxiety/depression feelings between the two years. Those increased feelings were most prevalent among workers whose family incomes were below the poverty line (61%), female workers (50%) and those ages 18-54 (46%).

The 2020 data shows that symptoms of or medication use for anxiety/depression were nearly three times higher for workers who used prescription opioids in the past year (39%) compared with those who did not (14%).

Construction employers can act by sharing resources with their workers. CPWR offers resources on suicide prevention and preventing opioid deaths, while NIOSH has a webpage on stress at work.


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.

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.