The Hazards of Combustible Dust

Fires and explosions can happen for a multitude of reasons on a construction site but one of the most common causes is combustible dust. Metal-based materials such as aluminum, titanium and steel as well as plastics can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosible. ... [Continue Reading]

Safety Training for Temporary Workers

Hiring temporary workers for special projects or seasonal work is a common practice in the construction industry, but it does not exempt the employer from the responsibility of safety training equal to that of permanent employees. In the case of hiring workers through a temporary agency, OSHA could hold both the host and temporary employers responsible for dangerous ... [Continue Reading]

Safety in Hot Summer Conditions

As unpredictable as the weather is in the Maryland area, heat threats are real, especially for construction workers. Here we break down the symptoms and hazards of working outside this summer. Heat stroke, the most serious form of heat-related illness, happens when the body becomes unable to regulate its core temperature. Sweating stops and the body can no longer rid itself ... [Continue Reading]

Safety Citations and Compliance

A post-inspection citation can quickly become an ongoing source of unwanted fines and action items for any type of construction project. Whether a safety inspection is initiated because of a planned schedule, accident or complaint, the compliance responsibility rests squarely on the construction management. Penalties can range from $12,934 for each serious violation, $12,934 ... [Continue Reading]

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]