Properly working, well-maintained equipment is one of the most important factors in construction safety. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of recall alerts. We’ve recently seen two such alerts issued on items that are used in the field every day: hard hats and ladders. These are for very specific items, but the manufacturers have done a fantastic job making it easy to find the information on the items to see if your hard hat or ladder is one of the recalled pieces. Please take a minute to look over the links to the documents to ensure that the equipment you’re using is safe.
This week is OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction Week. What’s that? It’s a week where we give special focus to fall hazards and fall prevention, raising awareness for this leading cause of death among construction workers. Through education and dedication, we can help prevent injuries and fatalities in our industry caused by falls.
OSHA’s website has great resources on how to your company and employees can take part this week in a Safety Stand-Down – defined as a “voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety.” There are videos to watch, posters you can download and print (Spanish and English), and lists of events in many areas of the country.
WCSA, the Cheyenne Roofing Alliance, the Wyoming Montana Safety Council, and Wyoming OSHA are jointly hosting an awesome event for National Safety Stand-Down this Friday, May 11th! The stand-down will be held at the Wyoming Montana Safety Council located at 1002 S. Greeley Hwy, Cheyenne, WY 82007. Scheduled events include:
- OSHA #7405 class (English): 7am – noon
- OSHA #7405 class (Spanish): 7am – noon
- Appearance by Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr: 9am – 9:30am
- 3M Fall Protection Truck On-Site: 11am – noon
- Lunch / Stand-Down Discussion / Remembrance of Those Lost: noon – 1pm
- OSHA #7405 class (English): 1pm – 6pm
- Vendor Booths and Raffle Prizes throughout Day
We look forward to seeing everyone there!
In 2015 alone, ladder-related incidents resulted in more than 20,000 non-fatal injuries and more than 150 worker fatalities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ladder Safety Tips
Haselden Construction Senior Safety Manager Travis Weber offers some ladder safety tips that are easy to implement whether you’re at home or on the job site:
- Use the right type of ladder for the job.
- Use the right size ladder for your job; be sure not to try and make do with an undersized ladder by standing on one of the top two rungs.
- Inspect your ladder prior to use to ensure it’s in good condition. Things to keep an eye out for include bent or cracked rungs, cracked side rails, missing slip-resistant safety feet on the bottom, and pop-rivets that aren’t in place. Also, make sure it’s clean (free from grease, mud, paint, etc. that could cause a slip and fall).
- When using an extension ladder, make sure the ladder is tied off and secured to keep it from slipping or falling. If it’s not possible to secure it, use a second team member to hold the ladder.
- Proper ladder set up is key! Use a 4’-to-1’ ladder angle, meaning for every 4’ the ladder is vertical, the base should be extended 1’ out from the vertical surface. Additionally, an extension ladder should extend 3’ above the top walking working surface it rests on.
- Use the “belt buckle rule” – keep your belt buckle between the rails of the ladder to ensure balance stability.
- Always use three points of contact when climbing and descending—two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet. Don’t carry tools while moving up or down the ladder—use a haul rope to pull up tools or materials.
Even if you’re not the person on the ladder, you can still take extra steps to exercise safe practices around ladders. Be aware of the environments surrounding ladder placement, especially in hallways and around doorways. Avoid walking by or next to (and, of course, under) ladders in use, and try to find an alternate route.
Ladder safety doesn’t take much time or effort, but it is certainly worth your attention. Want to dedicate some more time to learning ladder safety? The American Ladder Institute (ALI) offers free online Ladder Safety Training!
We’ve also got some great downloadable/printable PDFs on our Resources page!
National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction Week is coming soon – May 7 -11! Recognize the importance of fall protection by taking advantage of the free 7405 Fall Hazard Awareness class taking place at the Wyoming Montana Safety Council in Cheyenne on May 11th! This class includes continuing education credits and will be taught in English and Spanish.
There is limited space available, so be sure to sign up your team members as soon as possible! We have 40 seats open in each English class and 25 seats open in the Spanish class. We’d like to see all three classes full!
Click here to register!
La Retirada de Seguridad Nacional para Prevenir Caídas en la Construcción llega pronto, del 7 al 11 de Mayo! Únase a esta importante movimiento reconociendo la importancia de la protección contra caídas durante la clase 7405-Reconociendo los Peligros de Caídas la cual se llevara a cabo en el salón de Wyoming Montana Safety Council en Cheyenne el 11 de Mayo! La clase es GRATIS e incluye créditos de educación continua y se ofrecerá en inglés y español!
Espacio es limitado. Reserve su asiento lo más pronto posible! Existen 40 asientos para cada clase de Ingles y 25 para la de español. Las quisiéramos ver todas llenas!
Haga clic aquí para registrarse.
On Tuesday, September 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum to OSHA Regional Administrators announcing how the Agency will handle enforcement of the new silica standard for the construction industry, which took effect on September 23, 2017.
The memorandum states that during the first 30 days of enforcement OSHA will not issue citations to contractors who are putting forth good faith efforts in their attempt to comply with the requirements of the new standard. For those contractors attempting to comply, OSHA will offer compliance assistance and outreach with a focus on full and proper implementation of the controls listed in Table 1. However, if during an inspection it appears that a contractor is not making any effort to comply with the requirements of the silica standard, OSHA’s inspection will include air monitoring for exposures and the contractors may also be considered for citations. During this time period, any proposed citations are required to be reviewed by the National Office.
The memorandum also notes that OSHA has developed interim inspection and citation guidance to be released prior to the termination of the memorandum and that a compliance directive will be issued at a later date. AGC encourages contractors who have operations in State Plans and are covered by the silica standard to contact their Administrators to find out if the September 20 memorandum will be acknowledged.
Many times manufacturers learn about faulty or malfunctioning equipment and they will issue a notice which identifies the concern on specific makes and models of equipment.
Below are several notices that have recently been issued by Genie. It’s important to take the time to identify your equipment, and if matches the make and model listed in these notices, be vigilant about getting that equipment fixed before it causes harm to your employees or damage to your equipment.
Silicosis is a debilitating and deadly respiratory disease that occurs when an employee is exposed to very small particles of silica dust over a period of many years. Silica can be found in the soil and in products made from rocks and sand, which are used in many building materials. The US Department of Labor has been studying the ill health effects of respirable silica in the workplace for more than 80 years. OSHA reduced the Permissible Exposure Level for employees performing tasks such as concrete grinding, chipping, cutting, and demolition and issued a Substance Specific Standard for Respirable Crystalline Silica in 2016.
On September 23, 2016, OSHA will begin enforcing the Standard. Is the construction industry prepared? Despite widespread efforts by OSHA, the AGC, and other industry groups and contractors to promote education and training, there are challenges ahead.
Many small contractors and subcontractors have not implemented their own silica programs. For most silica-generating tasks, a respiratory protection program is also required.
BD+C Magazine recently reported on the topic; click here to read the short article.
Check out WCSA’s Training & Events calendar for upcoming training opportunities, as well as the “Upcoming Events “footer at the bottom of this webpage for the latest classes! The next class is October 6 and is available in English and Spanish! You can also check out our silica training videos (in Spanish and English) on this website’s Resources page.
With temperatures consistently in the 80s and 90s lately, it’s pretty obvious that summer has arrived! With that comes the added responsibility of companies to ensure their workers stay safe in the heat—especially construction companies that do much of their work outdoors. To safeguard your team members against heat-borne illness, you need to provide them with water, rest, and shade.
According to OSHA, over 40% of heat-related worker deaths happen in the construction industry. What can you do to protect your team members?
- Make sure to cover hydration in your PODs (plans of the day) and note heat hazards on your JHAs (job hazard analysis), especially for employees working outdoors and in the sun. They need to be aware of the importance of staying hydrated at all times
- Make sure that drinking water is readily available for employees to drink as needed. Some projects have dispensers, some have water bottles (preferably these are in coolers or refrigerators) or other means to deliver cool or cold, drinkable water
- Keep a close eye out for signs of heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. If you see signs of illness, take immediate action.
It’s important to keep these facts fresh in your team members’ thoughts. The more you educate people and remind them of the dangers and how to prevent them, the quicker we can bring down heat-related incidents.
OSHA Resources / Recursos de OSHA:
Trabajando Seguramente en Tempuraturas Altas de Calor
Con temperaturas consistentemente en los 80 y 90 últimamente, es obvio que el verano ha llegado! Con esto también llega la responsabilidad adicional de los empleadores en asegurar que sus trabajadores se mantengan protegidos contra el calor—especialmente compañías como la nuestra la cual realiza una gran parte de su trabajo afuera. Para proteger nuestros empleados contra condiciones causadas por el calor extremo, necesitamos proveerle agua, descanso y sombra.
De acuerdo a OSHA, sobre 40% de las muertes relacionadas con el calor ocurren en la industria de la construcción. Que podemos hacer para protegerlos?
- Asegúrense de cubrir hidratación en sus POD’s (Plan del Dia) y noten el peligro del calor en sus Análisis de Peligros del Trabajo (JHA), especialmente para trabajadores trabajando afuera en el sol. Estos deben saber la suma importancia de mantenerse siempre hidratados.
- Asegúrense de tener agua de tomar fácilmente accesible y en suficientes cantidades para nuestros empleados en todo momento. Algunos proyectos tienen dispensador, otros traen agua en botellas (preferiblemente en hieleras) u otros medios para proveer agua en temperaturas agradables y eficaces para tomar.
- Manténgase en alerta por señales de agotamiento por calor y/o golpes de calor. Si observa señales de estas condiciones, tome acción inmediata.
Tal como la agua fresca, es de suma importancia mantener estos hechos frescos en las mentes de nuestros empleados. Mientras más educamos y recordamos de estos peligros, y como prevenirlos, más rápido reducimos estos incidentes relacionados con el calor.
Wyoming Construction Safety Alliance is looking forward to being more interactive with the Wyoming community and we’ve revamped our website to be more user-friendly.
In addition to a new, updated look, we’re expanding our content to bring our construction community subject matter, recommendations, and the latest news to keep your workers and your company safe!
What do you think? We look forward to your comments!