OSHA Outlines Enforcement of New Confined Spaces Ruling

OSHA’s final rule on confined spaces, which was issued this past May, addresses the hazards of construction workers who work in areas that have limited means of entry and exit and are not designed for continuous occupancy. Recently the agency granted a 60-day temporary enforcement policy of the standard in response to requests for additional time to train and acquire the ... [Continue Reading]

Protecting Workers from Musculoskeletal Disorders

Construction jobs that require workers to repeat moderate to strenuous motions over extended periods can result in damage to muscles, nerves and tendons and are a leading cause of workplace injury. Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) occur in all parts of the body -- the upper extremity, the lower extremity, and the back. According to OSHA, “The longer the worker must maintain a ... [Continue Reading]

Reducing Hazards of Worker Exposure to Asphalt Fumes

Over a half-million workers are exposed to fumes from asphalt, a petroleum product used extensively in road paving, roofing, siding, and concrete work. Health effects from exposure to asphalt fumes include headache, skin rash, sensitization, fatigue, reduced appetite, throat and eye irritation, cough, and skin cancer. Two of the most important safety measures for working with ... [Continue Reading]

Building Tolerance to Hot Weather: Easy Does It

Hot weather conditions are a well-known concern for construction managers, but the early months of elevated temperatures are the most dangerous, simply because workers are unaccustomed to the heat. Acclimatization, a process where a person can build tolerance to the heat, can be done gradually by increasing workload slowly during hot weather months. Working in full sunlight ... [Continue Reading]

Respirators and Lung Safety on Construction Sites

An estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death. Compliance with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard ... [Continue Reading]

Fatigue Hazards of Extended Work Hours

Workers who are on the job for extended or unusual shifts are often at risk for fatigue-related accidents and are a safety concern for all construction projects. Extended work hours are often factors in operator error, injuries and accidents. According to OSHA, “Any shift that incorporates more continuous hours, requires more consecutive days of work, or requires work during ... [Continue Reading]

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard: What You Need to Know

The labeling of hazardous chemicals has been undergoing a significant change in the past few years with important implications for the construction safety industry. Originating from a United Nations consensus and followed by OSHA, these revisions will have a permanent impact on all those who come into contact with a variety of hazardous chemicals. Here’s what you need to ... [Continue Reading]

OSHA’s Most Common Citations: Fall Protection Remains on Top

Fall protection continues to take center stage in the construction safety industry and this month OSHA is continuing its popular “Stand Down for Safety” program, -- an outreach program to educate workers most at risk. Basic safety measures are the best means of prevention as those in the industry can attest. The National Safety Stand-Down Web page provides details on how to ... [Continue Reading]

High-Powered Hand Tools and Vibration Hazards

Operators of hand-held vibrating tools can be at serious health risks, especially if exposed to high levels of vibration over an extended period of time. There are specific recommendations to mitigate the types of nerve and tissue damage that can occur in the construction industry when using these types of tools. Vibration-induced white finger (VWF) is the most common ... [Continue Reading]

Developing an Emergency Response Plan

Developing an emergency response plan is an essential part of any construction safety plan and goes a long way to protect workers--and anyone on the job site--in the event of a variety of disasters. Building evacuations, CPR training and sheltering from severe weather are just a few of the scenarios where an emergency response plan comes into action. Chemical spills and ... [Continue Reading]