About Nina McGinley

Fundamentals of Demolition Safety

Demolition, the dismantling, razing, destroying or wrecking of any building, is often referred to as construction in reverse. Demolition work involves many of the hazards associated with construction, however there are additional hazards due to unknown factors which makes demolition work particularly dangerous. These may include: Changes from the structure's design ... [Continue Reading]

Safety in Confined Spaces

Confined spaces - such as manholes, crawl spaces, and tanks - are not designed for continuous occupancy and are difficult to exit in the event of an emergency. People working in confined spaces face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. Before it begins work at a worksite, each employer must ensure that a competent ... [Continue Reading]

Proactive Safety: Emergency Action Plans

An emergency action plan (EAP) is designed to facilitate and organize employer and worker actions during workplace emergencies. Disorganized evacuations or poor emergency response can lead to injuries, illness and property damage. Two OSHA standards (29 CFR 1910.38(a)and 29 CFR 1926.35) require written EAPs. Putting together a comprehensive emergency action plan involves ... [Continue Reading]

Crane Safety in Hazardous Winds

There are many different types of cranes on construction sites, all with specific manufacturer safety specifications. However, in light of the tragic crane accident in Seattle recently, it is worth reviewing some fundamental safety measures and regulations. Crane operators must now be certified or licensed and receive ongoing training to operate new equipment. According to ... [Continue Reading]

Fall Prevention Stand-Down Scheduled for May

The 6th annual National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down will be held May 6-10 this year, sponsored by OSHA and other occupational safety organizations. The week-long event will focus attention on preventing falls in construction, the leading cause of fatalities in the industry. The national stand-down encourages employers and workers to pause voluntarily during the ... [Continue Reading]

Safety Measures for Underground Electrical Lines

Recently some businesses in Baltimore County experienced power outages after a contractor stuck an underground electrical line, according to the Baltimore County Fire Department. Twelve businesses were affected by the damaged electrical line and several have been shut down from smoke and other issues, the fire department reported. There are specific guidelines for ... [Continue Reading]

Using Portable Generators Safely

Portable generators are internal combustion engines used to generate electricity. They are useful for construction workers when temporary or remote power is needed, and are commonly used during cleanup and recovery efforts following disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. There are, however, specific hazards associated with generators, including carbon monoxide ... [Continue Reading]

Subcontractors and Safety Liability

A recent decision in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in has ruled that general contractors can be held responsible for subcontractors that create OSHA violations. This particular case involves whether or not subcontractors were exposed to cave-in hazards and how liable the parent employer should be. As with most court cases with wide-sweeping implications, the ... [Continue Reading]

Forklift Safety Measures for Accident Avoidance

Forklifts are the workhorse of most construction sites, but they can become a dangerous piece of machinery if workers are inexperienced or untrained.  Workers who operate or work near forklifts may be struck or crushed by the machine or the load being handled. Most fatalities occur when a worker is crushed by a forklift that has overturned or fallen from a loading dock. ... [Continue Reading]

Confined Spaces and Hydrogen Sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide is a flammable and toxic gas found particularly in confined spaces such as trenches and sewers. For the construction industry, this poses particular risk for workers in outdoor excavation projects. Specific regulations for confined spaces General Industry are found on OSHA's website. (29 CFR 1910) OSHA recently cited a Dallas utility company for failing to ... [Continue Reading]