Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Get ready for the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

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Photo: OSHA

Washington — OSHA is encouraging employers to take a break and raise awareness of fall hazards and the importance of fall protection during the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

This year’s event is set for May 6-10. Falls from elevation accounted for 395 of the nearly 1,100 construction deaths in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers and workers can take part in activities such as toolbox talks, safety equipment inspections, rescue plan development or in-depth discussions on hazardous tasks.

Meanwhile, employers whose workers aren’t exposed to fall hazards can “use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals,” OSHA says. “It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and other job hazards they see.”

Resources include suggestions to prepare for a successful stand-down and highlights from past events. A webpage lists events that are free and open to the public to help employers and workers find events near them.

Employers can download a certification of participation after the stand-down and share their activities on social media using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety.

OSHA initiated a National Emphasis Program on falls in May and hosted a webinar titled “Preventing Falls Through Improved Design” in March 2023.


Work safely on scissor lifts

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Photo: Baloncici/iStockphoto

Scissor lifts – named for the way the lifting mechanism’s crossed beams raise and lower the work platform – are often used by manufacturing, warehouse and construction workers.

To safely operate a scissor lift, OSHA says two main elements must be addressed before work begins: proper positioning and stabilization.

Here’s what workers and employers can do:

Positioning

  • Implement traffic control measures around the lift to prevent other workers or equipment from approaching.
  • Use ground guides when operating or moving the lift.
  • Place the lift at least 10 feet away from power lines and other sources of electricity, as well as away from overhead hazards such as tree branches.

Stabilization

  • Don’t move the lift while it’s in the upright position.
  • Work in areas that have a level surface and don’t have hazards (holes or bumps) that can cause instability.
  • Use the lift outside only if weather conditions are good.
  • Don’t bypass safety features designed to stop the lift from collapsing.
  • Never allow the weight on the work platform to exceed the manufacturer’s load rating.
  • Don’t use equipment (such as a forklift) other than the scissor lift mechanism to raise the work platform.

And, as always, “Only trained workers should be allowed to use scissor lifts,” OSHA says, “and employers should make sure that those workers show that they can use a scissor lift properly.”

Employers should train workers to:

  • Check that a guardrail system is in place before working on the lift.
  • Stand only on the work platform – never stand on the guardrails.
  • Position work tasks within easy reach of the lift to avoid leaning away from it.

McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Tower workers: Are you using safety sleeves correctly?

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Photo: NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association

Dayton, OH — Communications tower workers using cable safety sleeves for fall protection must make sure the cable is secured and properly tensioned before starting work.

The reminder is part of a new video from NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association. The video highlights the continued collaboration between NATE’s Safety Equipment Manufacturers Committee and the University of Dayton’s Structures and Materials Assessment, Research, and Test (SMART) Laboratory. Together, the groups test equipment – under real-world conditions – that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute.

The team performed more than 150 test drops. Its biggest takeaway?

“If you do not have tension on the wire rope, some of the sleeves will not function at all and may fall,” Joey Deuer, president and founder of Deuer Development, says in the video.

Other recommendations:

  • Only use the sleeve according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Ensure the user’s harness or body doesn’t contact the sleeve while climbing.
  • Don’t park unsecured sleeves on a cable while not in use; they may fall if the cable starts shaking.
  • Undamaged sleeves can be reused for rescue retrieval.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Fall Protection again leads OSHA’s annual ‘Top 10’ list of most frequently cited standards

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New Orleans — For the 13th consecutive fiscal year, Fall Protection – General Requirements is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard, the agency and Safety+Health announced Tuesday during the 2023 NSC Safety Congress & Expo.

Eric Harbin, administrator of OSHA’s Dallas-based Region 6, presented the preliminary list, which represents OSHA Information System data from Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 29. S+H Associate Editor Kevin Druley moderated the session.

The standards that comprise the Top 10 remained unchanged from FY 2022, with some movement within their ranking. Respiratory Protection, which ranked fourth in FY 2022, fell three spots to seventh. Powered Industrial Trucks rose two spots to round out the top five, which also featured Hazard Communication, Ladders and Scaffolding.

The list:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 7,271 violations
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,213
  3. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,978
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,859
  5. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,561
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,554
  7. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,481
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 2,112
  9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 2,074
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,644

“Although incredible advancements are made in safety each year, we continue to see many of the same types of violations appear on OSHA’s Top 10 list,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “As a safety community, we must come together to acknowledge these persistent trends and identify solutions to better protect workers.”

Finalized data, along with additional details and exclusive content, will be published in the December issue of S+H.

The presentation included a remembrance for Patrick Kapust, the late former deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs. Kapust, who presented Top 10 data at Congress & Expo from 2011 to 2022, died in April. He was 56.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Tower worker video offers overview of fall arrest lanyard testing

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Photo: NATE: The Communication Infrastructure Tower Contractors Association

Dayton, OH — Communications tower workers: Always use lanyards with appropriate fall clearance – and never connect the equipment back to itself unless that’s the way the lanyard is designed.

Those are two of the top takeaways of a new video from NATE: The Communication Infrastructure Tower Contractors Association.

The video provides an overview of how NATE’s Safety Equipment Manufacturers Committee works with the University of Dayton’s Structures and Materials Assessment, Research, and Test (SMART) Laboratory to test equipment – under real-world conditions – that meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute.

Recent testing examined the impact of long-distance falls involving the use of factor 1 lanyards, in which fall protection is tied off to an anchorage point above the head, and factor 2 lanyards, in which the anchorage point is at foot level.

John Lamond, vice president of sales at GME Supply Co., says in the video that factor 1 lanyards are designed to limit the distance of potential falls, while the foot-level tie-offs for factor 2 lanyards may increase the fall distance.

Workers should never connect with a factor 1 lanyard when a factor 2 lanyard is necessary, NATE says.

“We wanted to make sure we replicated how they’re using them in the field, what situations are most dangerous and what they may not know impacts them as they’re using a specific lanyard as they work,” Lamond said.

In the video, Sheri O’Dell-Deuer, vice president at Deuer Developments, says the SEMC checks lanyards after testing to ensure the carabiner and gate still work properly, and that the stitching remains intact. The committee also determines whether the shock pack has been deployed.

The video is the most recent installment in NATE’s Climber Connection series, which promotes safe work practices for communication tower workers.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Holding Violators Accountable

US Department of Labor sues Waukegan contractor who refuses to pay more than $360K in penalties for repeatedly endangering roofing employees

Contractor operating as ECS Roofing Professionals cited 9 times since 2014

Photo: OSHA

CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit in federal court to force a Waukegan roofing contractor to pay $360,531 in penalties for repeatedly exposing employees to falls from elevations, the leading cause of fatal injuries in the construction industry.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, the action follows an Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission decision on March 6, 2023, that affirmed the citations issued by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after its investigation found that Joshua Herion — operator of ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. — exposed employees to deadly fall hazards at two separate job sites in Illinois and Wisconsin in October 2022.

Specifically, OSHA determined the contractor did not provide employees required fall arrest systems, a safety net or guardrails as they installed siding and roofing materials atop roofs in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and at a job site in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

After OSHA issued citations and fined ECS Roofing $226,530 for the Illinois violations and $134,001 for violations in Wisconsin, the company contested the citations and penalties with the commission. Despite the commission’s decision affirming the penalties in full, Herion has failed to pay the penalties which led the department’s Office of the Solicitor in Chicago to file suit to recover the penalties.

Continue reading “Holding Violators Accountable”

Fatal Safety Failure

Federal inspectors find Missouri roofing contractor allowed employees to work without fall protection, leading to young worker’s fatal injuries

Troyer Roofing & Coatings continues to defy safety standards

TRENTON, MO – On March 27, 2023, an 18-year-old employee of a Missouri contractor was applying sealant to a commercial building’s roof when he fell more than 22 feet and suffered serious injuries that left him in a coma for five days before dying.

After the tragic fall, the employer — Troyer Constructors LLP, operating as Troyer Roofing & Coatings — allowed a foreman and another worker to continue working without fall protection until they finished their shift. In addition, inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration learned the Jamesport employer had fall protection available but allowed employees to decide if they wanted to use it.

“Troyer Roofing & Coatings could have prevented this young worker’s death by requiring their employees to use fall protection equipment. Disturbingly, the employer allowed other workers to go back to work on the same roof without fall protection,” said OSHA Area Director Karena Lorek in Kansas City, Missouri. “Employers have an obligation to comply with requirements that are designed to prevent tragedies such as this from occurring.”

OSHA investigators determined that, in addition to not ensuring that employees used fall protection, the contractor failed to train them on how to use it. Investigators also found Troyer Roofing did not train employees on proper forklift operations, failed to provide workers with face and eye protection, and did not have a written hazard communication program for sealants and other chemicals the employer used.

OSHA cited Troyer Roofing & Coatings for one willful violation, three serious violations and one other-than serious violation and proposed penalties of $205,369. The agency cited the company for similar fall protection violations in 2015.

Based in Jamesport, Troyer Constructors LLP is a third-generation, family owned and operated business with more than 20 years of roofing industry expertise. Troyer Roofing & Coatings provides commercial roofing restorations and repairs to customers in north and central Missouri.

OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about fall hazards and proper safety procedures.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Learn more about OSHA. For small employers, OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services, with priority given to high-hazard worksites, like construction. Companies interested in the program should contact their local OSHA On-Site Consultation program to discuss details and schedule an on-site safety and health evaluation. Find the On-Site Consultation program nearest you by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visiting OSHA’s program website.


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.

Original article published by OSHA

Check self-retracting lifelines in cold or wet conditions

Designed for working at height, self-retracting lifelines “extend and retract automatically, which keeps the lifeline in consistent tension while allowing the wearer to move around within a work area,” says the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

self-retracting lifelines

“If functioning properly, when the SRL detects a sudden increase in speed (such as from a fall), a locking mechanism in the housing immediately activates and stops the fall.”

However, cold and wet environmental conditions may cause the locking mechanism to seize, resulting in the cable continuing to spool out. If this happens, the fall won’t be arrested. To prevent this, do the following:

  • Ensure the locking mechanism hasn’t seized by rapidly pulling the cable to verify the components of the locking mechanism are functioning properly. Perform this action before the SRL is used for any task and then throughout the day.
  • Briskly pull out the cable to make sure the locking mechanism inside the housing responds to a sudden jerk on the cable. It should lock up similarly to how a seat belt does when a car comes to a sudden halt.
  • If the SRL gets wet, store it vertically to dry.

If the locking mechanism isn’t working, don’t use the SRL! Tell a supervisor immediately.


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.

Original article published by Safety+Health

New video spotlights harness inspection safety

Original article published by Safety+Health
harness
Photo: Infrastructure Health and Safety Association

Toronto — A damaged harness can be the difference between a near-miss incident and a catastrophic fall when working at height, the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association says.

The association has published a video tutorial to help guide workers through properly inspecting their fall protection harness. It walks viewers through the inspection process, from reviewing the manufacturer’s instructions to inspecting the straps and stitching, checking the deployment indicators, and examining buckles and grommets.

“With the number of incidents occurring on jobsites that require working at height, it’s crucial for every worker to have a thorough understanding of how to inspect their safety harnesses,” IHSA says. “Follow these steps every time you don a harness to improve your ability to work safe for life.”

IHSA is one of four sector-focused safe workplace associations designated under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. The video is the latest in its “Safety Talks” series.


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.

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.

Refusing to Protect Workers

Original article published by OSHA

Federal safety inspectors find Illinois contractor with long history of violations again exposing employees to dangerous workplace hazards

For 7th time since 2015, OSHA cites United Custom Homes for defying safety standards

Illinois silhouette: Exposing Workers to ViolenceORLAND PARK, IL – For the seventh time since 2015, federal workplace safety inspectors have cited an Oswego contractor who refuses to protect carpenters working at elevations, as required by federal law.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed six carpenters employed by United Custom Homes LLC framing new townhomes in Orland Park on April 12, 2023, at heights up to 21 feet without fall protection, and opened an investigation.

OSHA learned that, in addition to not providing fall protection equipment, the contractor failed to train workers on the use of fall protection and forklift operations and did not provide workers with eye protection.

After the Orland Park inspection, the company received OSHA citations for one willful violation, one repeat violation and two serious violations with proposed penalties of $151,260. The findings in this inspection are similar to fall protection violations OSHA identified at six other United Custom Homes’ worksites in the Chicago area since 2015. Currently, the company owes more than $81,000 in unpaid OSHA penalties.

“United Custom Homes’ continued defiance toward federal safety regulations is putting their employees at risk of serious and sometimes fatal fall injuries,” said OSHA Chicago South Area Director James Martineck in Tinley Park, Illinois. “Falls are a leading cause of death in the construction industry. By failing to comply with the law yet again, United Custom Homes’ employees face real dangers that federal safety standards can prevent.”

United Custom Homes LLC provides residential and commercial carpentry, remodeling and general contractor services. The Oswego company is owned by Juan Guerrero.

OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about fall hazards and proper safety procedures.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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.