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 are, by far, the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for nearly 40% each year. That fact is the main reason why personal fall protection devices are so heavily stressed in the industry. But, even if your fall is arrested by a harness, you’re not out of the woods yet, as serious complications can happen while you’re being suspended in the air.
We all know – or, at least, should know – about construction’s Fatal Four Hazards: Falls, Struck-by, Caught-in or Between, and Electrical. Those hazards get most of the attention in most safety training courses in construction and rightfully so, they contribute to a large majority of all deaths on the jobsite. A recent study, however, highlights the need to take certain health hazards more seriously, due to their long term effects.
Summer is officially upon us and beating the heat will keep you healthy and productive. There are many summer dangers on construction sites, but OSHA maintains that water, rest, and shade are the most important factors to avoiding heat illness. Here are a few products to help keep you and hydrated on your jobsites this summer.
In March of 2018, an under construction pedestrian bridge on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus collapsed onto an open street below, killing 6 and injuring several others. Many investigations and lawsuits are still ongoing after the tragedy, but OSHA has released their official report after a roughly 14 month long investigation.
According to a 2016 study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the construction industry sadly ranks first in total suicides and second in suicide rate compared to all other industries in the United States. In response, OSHA has recently published a webpage with resources to help prevent suicides in the construction industry.
As a storm blew through the Dallas, Texas area on Sunday afternoon, a tower crane standing near an occupied apartment building collapsed causing at least one fatality and 6 injuries.
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure has been one of the critical elements of electrical safety training on construction sites for a decade. Generally, it’s pretty simple: if you need to work on an energized circuit or piece of equipment, shut down the breaker, put a lock on it so no one can turn it back on, and place a tag on it with your information. OSHA is considering updating the standard now and is currently requesting information from interested parties.
As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.
For the past 3 years, Seattle, Washington has had the most construction cranes out of any United States city. But, as we know, from various videos and news stories, a crane collapse can have absolutely devastating consequences. On Saturday, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle onto an open road below, killing two construction workers, 2 pedestrians, and injuring several others in the process.