Wear and Tear: The Basics of Safety Equipment Maintenance

As fall protection continues to take center stage in construction related injuries and fatalities, safety inspectors are called on to underscore the importance of equipment maintenance. For employers, this means quite simply, that it is not enough to provide the correct equipment, train employees on the proper use but to inspect and maintain the safety equipment before each ... [Continue Reading]

OSHA’s Recordkeeping Updates: What You Need to Know

Beginning January 1, 2015 companies under OSHA’s jurisdiction must begin to comply with the updated recordkeeping standards, which includes an expanded list of injuries that all covered employers must report to OSHA. The revised rule adds the requirement to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours to OSHA. The ... [Continue Reading]

Before the Fall: Safety Planning for Demolition Projects

From 2009 to 2013, OSHA issued nearly 1,000 citations for violations of OSHA's construction demolition standards. The most common citation was for failure to conduct an engineering survey to determine the condition of the structure prior to demolition. OSHA’s standard specifically states, “Prior to permitting employees to start demolition operations, an engineering survey ... [Continue Reading]

Best Practices for Hiring Temporary Workers

Hiring temporary construction workers through a staffing agency does not exempt employers from the liabilities associated with workplace accidents. Here we describe best practices in navigating this process—and the importance of defining the safety responsibilities of both the staffing agency and the host employer. The benefits of hiring temporary workers have long appealed ... [Continue Reading]

Tower Trouble: Increased Fatalities Prompt New Standards from OSHA

Communication towers sprouting up by the dozens in the past decade have resulted in a troublesome increase in worker injury and fatalities – and OSHA has responded to the situation by revamping its safety standards specifically designed for these high-risk structures. Communication towers are especially susceptible to worker injury because workers are often hoisted to heights ... [Continue Reading]

Working with Electricity: Our Industry’s Greatest Risk

Electricity is among the most serious workplace hazards, exposing workers to the risk of electric shock, electrocution, burns, fires, and explosions. Of all the occupational fatalities that occurred from 2003-2010, more than 1,700 of those were due to contact with electric current, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. The construction industry had the ... [Continue Reading]

4 Things to Know About Confined Space Entry

Storage tanks, manholes, tunnels — confined spaces pose particular occupational safety risks. By design, confined spaces have limited access points and ventilation, and are not intended for workers to occupy for long periods of time. Not only is there danger of entrapment because the tight quarters affect how workers can enter, exit, and work in these spaces, there’s also the ... [Continue Reading]

Training Is Key to Aerial Lift Safety

Aerial lifts, or any vehicle-mounted device used to elevate workers, have replaced ladders and scaffolding on many construction sites due to their mobility and flexibility. We see them, in fact, in many places—cherry picker platforms, bucket trucks, extendable boom platforms, aerial ladders, and vertical towers. Like ladders, scaffolds, or any other equipment that assists ... [Continue Reading]

How to Report Construction Accidents and Incidents to OSHA

Construction accidents are declining, and that’s good news for all of us in the industry. In the past four decades, workplace fatalities have decreased by more than 65 percent, and occupational injury and illness rates have declined by 67 percent, according to OSHA. Still, plenty of accidents happen on construction sites — and employers need to know what steps to take when they ... [Continue Reading]

Creating a Drug-Free Workplace Policy for Your Construction Site

Substance abuse costs U.S. employers more than $6 billion per year, including costs for lost productivity and related health and crime issues, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Surveys have found that about 75 percent of adult illicit-drug users are employed, and the construction industry, in particular, has some of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse — ... [Continue Reading]