Two construction workers in Santa Barbara, California, both in their 20’s, were injured during the installation of a CMU retaining wall when it partially collapsed on Monday.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reported via a Facebook post that one of the men was transported to the hospital with minor injuries and the second was treated and released on scene. Both men were pulled out of the rubble by co-workers in the area.
It’s not known what caused the collapse, but vertical rebar is not visible in the picture below.
It’s interesting to note that the scaffold seems to be on the opposite side of the wall where the blocks fell. Assuming that the men who were trapped were not on the scaffold, they would have been inside what should have been the limited access zone, where no employees should be permitted. Once masonry walls reach 8 feet tall, which they do not appear to be in the picture, the walls should be braced to prevent overturn and collapse.
County inspectors and California OSHA have been notified of the accident and the cause of the collapse is under investigation.
The following is a guest post written by Laurence Banville, Esq.
Winter is here and with it comes dangerous situations that construction workers don’t have to worry about during warmer weather. Nearly everyone is aware that construction workers should dress warmly in order to prevent medical conditions like frostbite and hypothermia, but what are some of the frequently overlooked risks associated with winter weather?
When anyone sees a hard hat, they typically immediate associate it with construction. It’s the ultimate symbol of safety on the job site. We all know we should wear them, but it’s easy to get annoyed with the minor inconvenience that they cause and forget about the extreme consequences that could result if a falling object catches us when we aren’t wearing one.
OSHA gives employees many rights in the workplace and employers many responsibilities. One of those is the employee’s right to see the company’s OSHA 300 Injury and Illness Summary Log and the employer’s responsibility to post it.
When OSHA raised its citation penalty amounts for the first time since 1990 in 2016, it raised them 78% to catch up with inflation over that many years. It wasn’t just a one time increase, however, as the amended Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 no longer exempts OSHA from its requirements.
With cranes being on many construction sites, it’s easy for workers to get complacent. Hundreds or thousands of construction materials can be lifted by cranes throughout the project, but all it takes is one time for a disaster to occur.
Getting your communications right is critical on any construction site. For effective planning and coordination, for efficient management of different teams and for health and safety, having a reliable means of keeping everyone in touch at all times is essential.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2016. Among all industries, fatal work injuries rose 7% in 2016 (5,190 deaths) over 2015 (4,836 deaths). The fatal injury rate per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers also rose from 3.4 to 3.6 year over year.
If you have not submitted your company’s OSHA Form 300A electronically through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA) yet, you only have a few days left to do so.
The blowing snow of winter does not bring the construction industry to a halt. If you work in the winter, follow these tips to stay safe and warm.