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]

Exit Routes and Safety Evacuation

Exit route regulations in construction have been in place for many years, but they continue to be enforced to prevent unnecessary hazards on the worksite. OSHA recently cited an Ohio United Parcel Service (UPS) distribution center for repeatedly putting workers at risk by obstructing exit routes where some access routes were reduced to just seven inches. The company faces ... [Continue Reading]

Hazard Communication: What You Need to Know

The Hazard Communication Standard, first established by OSHA in the 1980s, establishes requirements to make sure that the hazards of all chemicals imported into or used in U.S. workplaces are evaluated, and that this hazard information is transmitted to exposed employees. The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of ... [Continue Reading]

OSHA Releases Top 10 Safety Violations for 2018

At the National Safety Council’s 2018 Congress & Expo in Houston last October, OSHA released its most frequently cited workplace safety violations for 2018. Not surprisingly, fall protection continues to top the list, but notably, Eye and Face Protection replaced Electrical (Wiring Methods) for the number 10 spot. The list underscores the necessity for appropriate ... [Continue Reading]

General Contractors Increasingly Liable for Subcontractors

A recent decision in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has ruled that general contractors can be held responsible for subcontractors that create OSHA violations. With the potential to have wide-sweeping repercussions in the construction industry, the ruling was brought about by safety violations from a subcontracting team to build a new library for the City of ... [Continue Reading]

Workplace Fatalities Decline in 2017

There was a small but not insignificant decline in workplace fatalism over the past year, underscoring the importance of safety precautions and compliance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 43 fewer workplace fatalities in 2017 than the previous year. The fatal injury rate also decreased from 3.6 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017. For the ... [Continue Reading]