In March, OSHA announced that they would be enforcing their previously delayed beryllium exposure limit for the construction industry on May 11, 2018. The agency has recently confirmed that enforcement date in a memorandum on May 9, 2018.
The new beryllium standard reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of employees to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter, averaged over 8 hours and establishes a new short term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15 minute sampling period. Where the PEL is exceeded in the construction industry, OSHA will enforce its Respiratory Protection Standard as detailed in section G of the updated Beryllium standard 29 CFR 1926.1124.
OSHA estimates that around 11,500 construction workers are exposed to beryllium on jobsites throughout the country, mostly through coal slag, which is commonly used in abrasive sandblasting.
Like other respirable particulates found in construction, beryllium has been linked to a lung disease, specifically chronic beryllium disease. The disease kills around 100 people each year.
There were previously some additional, ancillary requirements in OSHA’s original update to the beryllium standard above and beyond the exposure limits, but those have sense been removed for the construction industry.
Falls from height are the leading cause of fatalities on construction sites by a long shot, as the account for around 40% of deaths. Fall protection training in the classroom can often fall short, because hearing words and learning definitions about fall prevention may not have the same effect as seeing and interacting with fall prevention techniques.
On Monday morning, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that was being prepped for demolition suddenly collapsed, injuring one Project Manager that was struck by debris.
OSHA's new crystalline silica dust exposure regulations officially went into effect on September 23, 2017. Over the past 10 months, there has been plenty of confusion about the lung disease causing material. In the first 6 months after the effective date, OSHA's inspectors yielded 116 violations across the country.
Investigators are on the scene of a catastrophic explosion at a Texas construction project that killed 1 and has injured another 15 workers. The explosion occurred on Tuesday afternoon at Coryell Memorial Healthcare System in Gatesville, Texas, which is being expanded.
[guest post] June is National Safety Month, and this week, the focus is on falls. As anyone who works in construction knows, this industry has some of the highest workplace accident and injury rates in the United States. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) ranks falls as one of their Fatal Four most deadly type of construction accidents.
Construction crews were preparing to replace window glazing on the 47-story tall Wellhouse na Leninskom tower in Moscow, Russia, when a cable snapped just as the window was about to reach the top of the structure
On March 15, 2018, a devastating pedestrian bridge that was under construction collapsed onto an open roadway below, killing 1 bridge worker and five motorists, as well as injuring 8 others. As was expected, investigations have been underway since the accident, which are expected to take at least several more months to complete