Occupational hearing loss is talked about a lot in the construction industry, but noise levels have always been difficult to quantify for the everyday worker. A company may have a professional sound level meter or noise dosimeter, but how often are they actually used? With the advancement of smartphones, the power to avoid the lasting effects of hearing loss is being given back to individuals.
The lack of available technology or general lack of concern has most likely been the major contributing factors for the 23,000 people who suffered from occupational hearing loss 2007 (the last year this data was published by NIOSH). That same year, 14% of occupational illnesses were the result of hearing loss.
For iOS users, NIOSH has just released a free new smartphone app, called NIOSH SLM, to measure sound levels on the job site. The app underwent extensive laboratory testing in order to meet the approved criteria for sound measurement, within 2dB of a type 1 sound meter). If used with a calibrated external microphone, the app has proven to work within 1dB of the type 1 sound meter. NIOSH states that the key benefits of the app are: raised worker awareness, helps workers make informed decisions about potential hazards, serves as a research tool to collect noise exposure data, and it promotes better hearing health and prevention measures.
In November of 2016, NIOSH also updated their evaluation of almost 200 different sound level meter apps available on both Android and iOS. Of the 130 iOS apps researched, only 10 passed within the testing limits. Of the 62 Android apps researched, only 4 apps passed. The study suggests that the Android apps were not nearly as reliable as the iOS apps and did not have many fo the same functions. But since NIOSH has not released an Android app themselves, users will have to choose between the four listed in the study, which are: SPL Meter by AudioControl (free), deciBel Pro by BSB Mobile Solutions ($3.60), dB Sound Meter by Darren Gates ($0.99), and Noise Meter by JINASYS (free).
Every now and then a new product comes along and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?!” The OVAL Fire Extinguisher is just that product. Architecture and interior design have been moving towards cleaner lines in their spaces. Foregone are the days of bulky protruding water fountains (bubblers for my northern friends) and fire extinguisher cabinets. Interior designers are looking for cleaner and sleeker interior spaces but the 10lb fire extinguishers and cabinets have not changed for quite some time. OVAL is about to change all that.
On Tuesday, June 20, OSHA is set to propose a delay on new requirements for cranes and derricks in the construction industry at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH).
Trenches are dangerous, but many companies and workers continue to deny it. Or their actions make it seem like they do, at least. There’s never an excuse to let someone into a hole if it hasn’t been properly sloped, benched, or shored. Nevertheless, dozens of construction workers are killed and injured by trench collapses every year.
A nearby office worker caught video of a dramatic demolition that showed the remains of an 11 story building collapse on top of the excavator performing the demolition.
Beards are a rite of passage for many men across the world. For some, it’s a symbol of their manliness, for others, it’s rooted in religious beliefs. One contractor in the UK, however, is concerned with the safety risk the facial hair causes.
Strange things are found on job sites across the globe all the time. We’ve shared plenty of stories in the past about the odd things construction workers have discovered, like human remains, 200,000 year old mammoth bones, ancient roman treasure, and more. When contractors dig in the dirt, there’s always a chance of uncovering history. Sometimes, though, the things found can be extremely dangerous.
While placing concrete on the second floor of a future seven-story mixed use building in Oakland, California, the concrete forms suddenly gave way, sending around 20 workers 10 to 15 feet below with the wet concrete. News reports explain the job site went into a panic, understandably so, and co-workers rushed to the scene to help.
Mistakes during demolitions happen. Sometimes contractors knock down the wrong buildings, other times the explosives used don’t knock the building over, and other demolitions are carried out with a complete lack of regard for human life. As fun as they are to perform and watch, they’re inherently dangerous and there should be a plan in place in case things go wrong.
Cranes collapse for a variety of different reasons. Some are overloaded, some catch on fire, and others succumb to high wind loads. Regardless of the reason, a falling crane can cause tons of damage and have the potential to kill on-site workers and pedestrians walking near the job site.
A recent crawler crane collapse in Northern Italy could have been much worse as the crane, carrying a large section of viaduct, crashed to the ground.
On January 1, 2017, OSHA officially put into effect a revision to workplace injury and illness reporting that requires certain employers to submit recorded information of these instances electronically. Companies were to submit all of this information from the previous year (2016) by July 1, 2017, but now that due date is in jeopardy.