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.

Pillar collapses prompt MSHA video on underground mine safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication


Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration

A new video from the Mine Safety and Health Administration is intended to raise awareness of pillar collapses in underground mines.

Although no injuries resulted from four massive pillar collapses recorded by the agency since October 2020, the video urges mine workers and operators to take action to evaluate and address hazards common to pillar collapse incidents.

During the six-minute video, MSHA displays diagrams detailing how pillar collapses occur as well as footage of an air blast resulting from a pillar collapse in August.

The act of benching, or mining the floor, changes the overall dimensions of support pillars and often is a root cause of pillar collapses.

“After the floor is mined, pillars are taller than when they were initially developed, but their width remains the same,” the video states. “The result is a tall, slender pillar with a decreased ability to support the roof. The stability of tall, slender pillars can be further impacted by inadequate survey control, poor blasting techniques, weathering or geologic features.”

Pillars with an hourglass shape or showing recent rock spalling from the rib are at particular risk of collapse, the agency says. Dangers to miners include a fall of the roof, smaller rock falls and air blasts.

“Miners may be exposed to an air blast at great distances from the location of the pillar collapse,” MSHA says, citing haul roads, travel ways, crushers, shops, portal entrances and explosives magazines as areas that potentially may be affected.

Additionally, sink holes commonly result from pillar collapses and can pose danger to surface miners working above the collapsed area.

MSHA advises mine workers to listen for falling rock or sounds of the ground working, and report any concerns to mine management or the local MSHA office.

“MSHA will be reaching out to mine operators and discussing these hazards and best practices with miners,” the video 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.

Don’t get struck

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication


Although most states enforce some type of “move over” law, which requires drivers to move over one lane or reduce speed when passing law enforcement on the side of the road, struck-by incidents are still happening.

More than 200 law enforcement officers were struck and killed between 2005 and 2019, according to NIOSH.

Officers can help lower their risk of being struck when responding to a road situation. Follow these tips from NIOSH:
Maintain situational awareness. “Keep your head on a swivel,” don’t turn your back to moving traffic and don’t walk in the gap between vehicles. Also, “always have an escape plan.”
Wear protective clothing. When exiting a patrol vehicle, put on an ANSI-approved high-visibility safety vest. This helps drivers see you.
Follow standard operating procedures. Your agency should have SOPs on temporary traffic control zones.
Understand the incident command structure. “Work collaboratively with other responders.”

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Ladders and overhead power lines

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

From 1992 to 2005, at least 154 workers were killed after a metal ladder they were using came in contact with an overhead power line, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited in a recent NIOSH review.

“As part of the site safety program and orientation,” NIOSH says, “make supervisors and workers aware of power line distances from work areas, including ladder length and ladder staging areas. Use site diagrams to communicate this information and ground-level signs or taped markers to remind workers of overhead power line locations.”

To help prevent injuries and fatalities, NIOSH recommends workers:

  • Look up. You need to know the location of overhead power lines before starting any job. “Always assume all overhead lines are energized and dangerous,” the agency says.
  • Don’t use metal ladders when working around or near overhead power lines.
  • Carry a ladder horizontally and in a lowered position when moving it. If a ladder is too long for one person to carry, ask for help.
  • Follow the 1:4 rule: “For every 4 feet between the ground and the upper point where a ladder is resting, set the feet of the ladder out 1 foot horizontally. For example, if the ladder is resting on the edge of a roof 16 feet above the ground, the bottom of the ladder should be 4 feet out from that edge.”
  • Don’t touch or go near a person or ladder that has come in contact with an overhead power line.

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.

OSHA has a new initiative to protect workers from hazards of extreme heat

First published by OSHA

What to Know About OSHA's Heat Enforcement Initiative: On days with a heat index of 80 degrees or higher, OSHA staff will prioritze heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities.

                                               Photo property of OSHA

WASHINGTON – To combat the hazards associated with extreme heat exposure – both indoors and outdoors – the White House today announced enhanced and expanded efforts the U.S. Department of Labor is taking to address heat-related illnesses.

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s interagency effort and commitment to workplace safety, climate resilience, and environmental justice, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is initiating enhanced measures to protect workers better in hot environments and reduce the dangers of exposure to ambient heat.

While heat illness is largely preventable, and commonly under-reported, thousands of workers are sickened each year by workplace heat exposure. Despite widespread under-reporting, 43 workers died from heat illness in 2019, and at least 2,410 others suffered serious injuries and illnesses. Increasing heat precipitated by climate change can cause lost productivity and work hours resulting in large wage losses for workers. The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center estimates the economic loss from heat to be at least $100 billion annually – a number that could double by 2030 and quintuple by 2050 under a higher emissions scenario.

To emphasize its concern and take necessary action, OSHA is implementing an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, developing a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections, and launching a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard. In addition, the agency is forming a National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group to provide better understanding of challenges and to identify and share best practices to protect workers.

“Throughout the nation, millions of workers face serious hazards from high temperatures both outdoors and indoors. Amid changing climate, the growing frequency and intensity of extreme heat events is increasing the dangers workers face, especially for workers of color who disproportionately work in essential jobs in tough conditions,” said U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. “As Secretary of Labor, my priority is to make sure we are taking appropriate action to keep workers healthy and safe on the job.”

OSHA implemented an intervention and enforcement initiative recently to prevent and protect workers from heat-related illnesses and deaths while they are working in hazardous hot environments. The newly established initiative prioritizes heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

“While agricultural and construction workers often come to mind first when thinking about workers most exposed to heat hazards, without proper safety actions, sun protection and climate-control, intense heat can be harmful to a wide variety of workers indoors or outdoors and during any season,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick.

The OSHA initiative applies to indoor and outdoor worksites in general industry, construction, agriculture and maritime where potential heat-related hazards exist. On days when a recognized heat temperature can result in increased risks of heat-related illnesses, OSHA will increase enforcement efforts. Employers are encouraged to implement intervention methods on heat priority days proactively, including regularly taking breaks for water, rest, shade, training workers on how to identify common symptoms and what to do when a worker suspects a heat-related illness is occurring, and taking periodic measurements to determine workers’ heat exposure.

OSHA Area Directors across the nation will institute the following:

  • Prioritize inspections of heat-related complaints, referrals and employer-reported illnesses and initiate an onsite investigation where possible.
  • Instruct compliance safety and health officers, during their travels to job sites, to conduct an intervention (providing the agency’s heat poster/wallet card, discuss the importance of easy access to cool water, cooling areas and acclimatization) or opening an inspection when they observe employees performing strenuous work in hot conditions.
  • Expand the scope of other inspections to address heat-related hazards where worksite conditions or other evidence indicates these hazards may be present.

In October 2021, OSHA will take a significant step toward a federal heat standard to ensure protections in workplaces across the country by issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on heat injury and illness prevention in outdoor and indoor work settings. The advance notice will initiate a comment period allowing OSHA to gather diverse perspectives and technical expertise on topics including heat stress thresholds, heat acclimatization planning, exposure monitoring, and strategies to protect workers.

The agency is also working to establish a National Emphasis Program on heat hazard cases, which will target high-risk industries and focus agency resources and staff time on heat inspections. The 2022 National Emphasis Program will build on the existing Regional Emphasis Program for Heat Illnesses in OSHA’s Region VI, which covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Read the statement by President Biden on Mobilizing the Administration to Address Extreme Heat.

Learn more about OSHA.

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 Farm Safety and Health Week set for Sept. 19-25

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: University of Minnesota

Peosta, IA — A series of daily webinars is planned for National Farm Safety and Health Week, scheduled to take place Sept. 19-25.

The theme of the 78th annual event is “Farm Safety Yields Real Results,” a reminder that safety is a vital part of agriculture, according to a press release from the AgriSafe Network, an international nonprofit representing health and safety professionals.

The 10 free webinars will focus on topics relative to agricultural health and safety pros, health care providers, producers, and farmworkers. The event will feature daily themes as well:
Sept. 20: Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
Sept. 21: Overall Farmer Health
Sept. 22: Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
Sept. 23: Agricultural Fertilizer & Chemical Safety
Sept. 24: Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture

National Farm Safety and Health Week has taken place during the third week of September every year since 1944, when the National Safety Council coordinated the project. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety at Northeast Iowa Community College’s Peosta campus later took control of developing and disseminating each year’s campaign materials.

According to 2018 data from NIOSH, around 2 million full-time workers were employed in production agriculture. Every day, about 100 agricultural workers suffer an injury that results in lost work time.

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.

Temporary power safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Temporary Power Safety is important in many industries - McCraren

Contact with electricity is one of the leading causes of fatalities in construction, according to OSHA.

Temporary power is allowed only for construction; remodeling; maintenance; repair; demolition of buildings, structures or equipment; or similar activities.

To ensure proper safety procedures are met when working with or around temporary power, temporary wiring should be designed and installed by a qualified electrician according to National Fire Protection Association 70E requirements. The qualified electrician can ensure the temporary power has the capacity to supply all connected loads. Other temporary power safety tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International:

  • Temporary power equipment on a worksite should be protected from vehicle traffic, accessible only to authorized persons and suitable for the environmental conditions that may be present.
  • Establish a time frame of when temporary power will be removed or switched over to permanent power.
  • Inspect cords and wiring for damage or alterations, and remove any that aren’t in good working condition.
  • Make sure equipment, receptacles, and flexible cords and cables are properly grounded.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter protection is required for all 125-volt, 15-, 20- and 30-ampere receptacle outlets. Listed cord sets or devices incorporating listed GFCI protection for portable use are permitted. Other receptacle outlets should be GFCI protected.
  • Test GFCIs monthly.

Once a project is complete, ESFI says that temporary power must be removed.

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.

MSHA stand-down for powered haulage safety set for July 20

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
Stand down for Safety Day
Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration

Arlington, VA — Alarmed by a recent surge in fatal and nonfatal work-related injuries involving powered haulage activity, the Mine Safety and Health Administration on July 20 will host a national Stand Down for Safety Day to help educate miners and employers in a bid to reduce injuries.

“All levels of MSHA enforcement staff will visit mines to meet with miners and operators,” the agency says. “MSHA staff will emphasize the need to comply with best safety practices for powered haulage, vehicle rollovers and miner training.”

The agency reports that, as of July 15, nine fatalities and 185 nonfatal injuries related to powered haulage have occurred this year.

On. Jan. 13, MSHA announced that 29 miners died on the job last year, marking the sixth straight year in which the annual total was below 30. Although the agency reported a significant decrease in deaths related to powered haulage in 2020 – 21% of the overall total – fatalities involving the activity have made up about half of miner fatalities so far this year, according to data presented June 9 during a virtual conference call for injury stakeholders.

MSHA offers numerous best practices for powered haulage:

For surface operations:

  • Always dump material in a safe location.
  • Always construct substantial berms as a visual indicator to prevent over travel.
  • Establish safe traffic patterns with proper signage.
  • Chock wheels or turn them into a bank when parking mobile equipment on a grade.

For underground operations:

  • Stop and sound audible warning device before tramming equipment through ventilation curtains.
  • Look in the direction of travel and stay in the operator’s compartment while operating mobile equipment.
  • Install reflective signs or warning lights in low clearance areas.

For conveyors:

  • Design, install and maintain guards.
  • Lock and tag conveyors before performing 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.

Drive safely in the rain

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Rain can reduce or impair your view of the road, the Nevada Department of Transportation points out. Combined with reduced tire traction on wet roadways, “It’s easy to see that driving in the rain needs to be treated with extra caution.”

Only drive in heavy rain when necessary, Nevada DOT advises, and always leave extra time to safely reach your destination. In addition, be sure to dry the soles of your shoes after getting into your vehicle when it’s raining, because they can slide from the pedals while you’re driving.

Other recommendations include:

  • Turn on your headlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of and avoid flooded areas – never attempt to cross running or flooded water.
  • Reduce your speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not rainy conditions.
  • Defrost windows before and while driving, if necessary.
  • Use your wipers. Many states require their use in rain or snow.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, leaving more space on wet roads.
  • Turn off your cruise control to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Brake earlier and with less force than you would in normal driving conditions. Also, slow down when turning.

Finally, if you have difficulty seeing the roadway and/or other vehicles when it’s raining, pull off the road to a safe location until conditions improve.

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.

2021 Trench Safety Stand Down

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.


Fairfax, VA — As part of Trench Safety Month, the National Utility Contractors Association, in conjunction with OSHA, is urging employers involved in trench work to participate in the sixth annual Trench Safety Stand Down.

Set to take place June 14-18, the event is intended to raise awareness of the dangers of trenching and excavation while highlighting the use of protective systems such as sloping, shoring and shielding. OSHA’s standard for trenching and excavation (29 CFR 1926.650, Subpart P) requires protective systems for trenches that are 5 feet or deeper, unless the excavation occurs in stable rock.

According to OSHA, trench collapses claim the lives of two workers each month.

NUCA and OSHA are providing free online tools for the event, such as posters, checklists, fact sheets and videos. Additionally, NUCA and United Rentals are collaborating on a webinar series throughout the week.

“NUCA and the utility construction industry members seek out every measure possible to reduce risks on our jobsites, which we all know can be a dangerous place to work if someone is unaware of its hazards,” the association says in a press release.

NUCA encourages the use of the hashtag #TrenchSafetyMonth on social media to promote the stand-down and other related events throughout June.

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.