OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program: The Benefits of Safety

Construction companies who are proactive in their health and safety programs should be aware of the benefits of recognition through OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program, (VPP), which recognizes employers who have maintained injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages. In addition to all the benefits of maintaining a well-documented safety ... [Continue Reading]

Live Wire: Safety Planning for Electrical Hazards

High voltage underground and overhead power lines are an ever-present danger in the construction industry. In fact, it counts among OSHA's "Fatal Four" in construction related deaths and injuries. Planning and managing work near electric overhead and underground power lines requires basic safety measures so that risks from accidental contact or close proximity to the lines are ... [Continue Reading]

OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirements Now in Effect

As we reported in October, OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirements are now in effect. Here’s the information you need to know!     Many new categories of employers must now maintain and post OSHA injury and illness records going forward. Employers who were already covered must complete and post their 2014 annual summary by February 1, 2015 and keep it posted until April ... [Continue Reading]

Exit Strategies: Fire Hazards at the Worksite

Worker injuries and fatalities from fire hazards in the construction industry have decreased steadily in the last ten years, thanks to increased enforcement of building codes and safety standards. Nonetheless, fire safety violations are taken seriously and consistently by safety inspectors. In late 2014, an East Coast manufacturer was cited repeatedly by OSHA for worker ... [Continue Reading]

The Sound and the Fury: Keeping Workers Safe from Noise Hazards

The noise level at construction sites has serious and sometimes overlooked health and safety consequences. The bottom line of noise control in construction worksites is that permanent hearing loss is a reality. Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. Since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that ... [Continue Reading]

Safety First and Last: Lockout/Tagout Procedures

Lockout/Tagout procedures, designed to protect workers from accidentally restarting dangerous machinery, is an essential safety precaution for electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal equipment. Unexpected start-up or release of stored energy accounts for nearly 10 percent of the serious accidents in many industries. These types of injuries often ... [Continue Reading]

Crane Safety and OSHA’s Certification Extension

OSHA’s recent decision to extend its crane certification requirement until 2017 reflects an ongoing effort to clarify the standards that will affect the construction industry for years to come. Better information and the need to streamline current standards were driving forces for the extension. According to OSHA, “Final economic analysis shows that extending the date for ... [Continue Reading]

Keeping Construction Dust at Bay

The health hazards of construction dust are an often overlooked and over-simplified problem with a variety of solutions depending on the type, quantity and immediate surroundings of dust-producing projects. While the health dangers of toxic dust are often given the precautionary measures they deserve, more common “nuisance” or inert dust is left unattended. Ultimately, any ... [Continue Reading]

Whistleblowing and the Construction Industry: A Call to Action

OSHA has recently revamped and reorganized its Whistleblowing Protection Program, signaling a heightened enforcement in protecting employees who report unsafe and hazardous working conditions. The Department of Labor called the restructuring a “significantly elevated priority status for whistleblower enforcement.” For the construction industry, this means these types of ... [Continue Reading]

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]