In January of 2017, OSHA released a final rule which greatly reduced the allowable exposure to beryllium alloy, a mineral that can cause deadly lung disease. While not as commonly encountered in the construction industry as other substances that cause terrible lung diseases, like crystalline silica and asbestos, beryllium is linked to a disease called chronic beryllium disease, which kills around 100 people each year. It’s commonly found in coal slag, which is used for sandblasting. According to the New York Times, OSHA estimates that 11,500 construction workers would be affected by OSHA’s reduced exposure limit.
Recently, OSHA issued a statement that it will not enforce the new beryllium exposure limit until it determines if it will amend the rule for the construction and shipyard sectors. According to the press release, OSHA will seek comment on the rule, as the administration “has evidence that exposure in these industries is limited to a few operations and has information suggesting that requiring the ancillary provisions broadly may not improve worker protection and be redundant with overlapping protections in other standards.” The comment period began on June 27, 2017 and will end on 9/25/17. For more information on submitting a comment, follow this link on OSHA’s website.
The New York Times has discovered public record that shows the Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance, which is an industry group made up of companies that sell coal slag, has spent around $60,000 for lobbying efforts directed at OSHA since the beginning of the year. The Alliance issued a statement in June, stating that there is a major difference between beryllium alloy and beryllium, with the latter being found in abrasive blasting. The group states that there is no evidence that the mineral beryllium is linked to any illnesses, as opposed to beryllium alloy. The group also states that there are currently 27 current OSHA regulations covering abrasive blasting.
There is an opportunity to revolutionize the way we protect construction workers from fall hazards while dramatically reducing waste and inefficiency in the construction industry. The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ was designed and engineered with feedback from industry experts with one goal in mind: Reinvent the guardrail to eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, send zero waste to landfills, and improve workplace safety.
Contact with overhead power lines is a major hazard when working on most construction sites and especially when working from elevated platforms or with heavy machinery.
Back in September, OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would extend the deadline for crane operator certification requirements. Although OSHA 1926.1427 has required crane operators to receive certain certifications to be able to operate the machines since 2010, actual enforcement of that rule has been delayed several times.
In most aspects of construction, communication and training is absolutely key to running a successful project and business. That is especially true when it comes to safety on the job site. One of the most popular ways of communicating safety hazards to the field staff is through tool box talks.
As annoying as it may be to deal with sometimes, there is a good reason why trucks carrying oversized loads have spotters and flaggers. We’ve seen the worst of what can happen when the spotter fails to alert truck drivers in time, like the one that caused a 2013 Washington State bridge collapse, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Just one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a new law requiring at least 40 hours of safety training for all 185,000 of the city’s construction workers, a partial roof collapse at a Brooklyn construction site left 6 workers injured, 2 of them serious.
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.
Construction Safety is talked about constantly. There are many construction companies that take it very seriously. There are also many that don’t. All will say it’s their top priority.
So what can a city do that’s facing regular worker deaths and increases in workplace injuries? New York City has decided to require extensive safety training for all of the 185,000 construction workers in the city.
According to the Workzonesafety.com, nearly half (46%) of all work zone-associated worker fatalities from 2003-2010 were caused by being struck by a vehicle. Surprisingly, only around 2% of those workers were killed by a drunk driver. From 2003 to 2015 (the last year this data was updated), a total of 1324 work zone fatalities have been recorded, which averages to about 102 per year.
Residents living near a Jersey City, New Jersey construction site were frightened as they watched “explosions” of smoke coming out of holes in the ground.