Avoiding Hazards of Confined Spaces

Many workplaces contain areas that are considered "confined spaces" because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ... [Continue Reading]

New Rule for Crane Operator Certification

The ongoing revisions to OSHA’s crane operator certification requirements had new developments in recent weeks, with the agency proposing a new rule that reinstates the employer duty to ensure crane operators are qualified to safety operate equipment. Under the proposed rule, a change to the categories of certifications for crane operators would ensure more operators are ... [Continue Reading]

The Specifics of Scaffolding Safety

 An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds. In a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. All of these accidents can be ... [Continue Reading]

Electrical Hazards on Construction Sites

Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard, exposing employees to electric shock, electrocution, burns, fires, and explosions. Most of these fatalities could have been easily avoided. OSHA standards cover the exposed or operating elements of an electrical installation such as lighting, equipment, motors, machines, appliances, switches, controls, and ... [Continue Reading]

Respirators and Seal Checks for Safety

Exposure to fumes, dust, silica, asbestos and other toxins are a common occurrence on construction sites. Unchecked, exposure to these toxins can result in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, lung cancer and silicosis. Knowing the basics of respiratory protection can go a long way toward preventing these ailments and keeping workers safe onsite. When ... [Continue Reading]

National “Stand-Down for Safety” May 7-11

As injuries and fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause for safety action in the construction industry, OSHA is partnering with key groups to organize the annual “Stand-Down for Safety” event May 7-11. A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking ... [Continue Reading]

Whistleblowing Provisions and Construction Safety

OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than twenty whistleblower statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace safety and health laws. Unsafe working conditions, faulty equipment or lack of training are just a few of the conditions employees can cite in an OSHA complaint. Protection from discrimination ... [Continue Reading]

Drilling and Vibration Hazards in Construction

Drilling concrete and other surfaces can cause a myriad of injury to workers, especially over time. Not only does hand-arm vibration exposure contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, but whole-body vibration can lead to debilitating low back injury and long-term medical problems. Safety experts warn that stationary postures or excessive movement of any type can stress the spine ... [Continue Reading]

New Beryllium Rule Comes Into Effect

OSHA’s final rule on exposure to beryllium in general and construction industries comes into effect on May 11th, 2018. About 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium in their workplaces, including approximately 11,500 construction and shipyard workers who may conduct abrasive blasting operations using slags that contain trace amounts of beryllium. The element beryllium is a ... [Continue Reading]

Safety Measures for Excavation Work

No matter how many trenching, shoring, and back filling jobs an employer has done in the past, it is important to approach each new job with care and preparation. Many on-the-job incidents result from inadequate initial planning. Waiting until after the work starts to correct mistakes in shoring or sloping slows down the operation, adds to the cost of the project, and makes a ... [Continue Reading]