For decades, hard hats have been synonymous with construction job site safety. Their one major flaw, however, is that if workers fall, the hard hat rarely stays on their head, exposing them to possible head injuries resulting from the fall. According to Bloomberg News, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) launched research campaign to determine their effectiveness in protecting against head and neck injuries. Their findings have not yet been released, but companies have begun to seek out new products, in hopes of reducing injuries.
Improving upon head protection is a benefit to many different parties surrounding the industry. The worker benefits from less chance of injury, the company benefits from less lost time and worker’s compensation payouts, and insurance companies benefit from lower risk and less claims. So far, attention has turned to safety helmets, like the ones search and rescue teams and mountaineers wear with chin straps, as the best current alternatives to hard hats. Contractors across the pond have also recently begun testing safety helmets on their job sites, with generally positive feedback.
In the US, large contractors like Skanska, Clark Construction, and Balfour Beatty have launched test programs involving safety helmets on job sites. According to Bloomberg, the KASK Zenith safety helmet ($140 on Amazon) is being tested by at least a couple of the companies.
In addition to being strapped to a worker’s head, safety helmets boast some other major benefits, chief of which is the ability to functionally accessorize. For example, many of the helmets are Hi-Viz, are shaped to allow for over the ear hearing protection, and have multiple options for safety visors of various sizes. Their major drawback, especially for smaller contractors, is their initial price. A standard hard hat typically runs $15 to $20, but a safety helmet can fetch anywhere from $100-$150. Additional accessories only add to a higher cost. The KASK helmets do have a shelf life of 10 years, whereas standard hard hats typically have a 5 year shelf life.
If your company is considering switching to these helmets, it’s important to remember that protective head gear must meet ANSI Z89.1 standards. Only certain safety helmet manufacturers meet these standards.
Full story: Safety Helmets Are Replacing Hard Hats on Construction Sites | Bloomberg BNA
OSHA has long used the language in the OSH act to find and hold multiple employers accountable for the actions of another on construction job sites. For decades, OSHA would not only cite the employer whose employees were exposed to hazards, but would also cite the employer who was designated the “controlling employer” on-site, which is most often the general contractor.
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.
It has not been a good few months to use portable toilets on a construction job site. In September, a 28 year old man was run over by a dump truck while using a portable toilet on his job site in Louisiana. A couple months later, another accident involving a portable toilet has happened.
The controversial Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting rule from OSHA was supposed to go into effect on December 1, 2017, but OSHA has recently delayed that enforcement to allow those affected to become familiar with the new electronic reporting system.
High winds can cause problems in many situations on a job site, especially with cranes and scaffolds. A horrific crane collapse in downtown New York City was caught on tape after a gust of wind knocked it down in early 2016. Last week, high winds caused more problems at construction sites, as it knocked over a scaffold above a busy sidewalk and sent a suspended scaffold swinging out of control and crashing into a building.
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.