Last November, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced felonious assault charges against a contractor’s superintendent and a manufacturer’s branch manager after two men suffered horrific injuries on a New York jobsite. Last week, OSHA formally announced citations against the St. Louis, Missouri based contractor.
On June 25, 2018, a mini crane fell four stories while lifting glass panels causing a traumatic brain injury to one worker and major spinal injuries to a second worker. Both the criminal charges and the OSHA inspection concluded that the contractor failed to properly train the employees on site before allowing them to operate the equipment.
“This employer knowingly put workers at risk by failing to ensure that the crane was operated by a competent person,” said Kay Gee, OSHA’s Manhattan Area Office Director in a statement. “Effective training of employees, knowledge of equipment’s limits, and correct operation of equipment are critical to preventing injuries.”
In total, OSHA issued 1 serious and 1 willful citation with total proposed penalties of $155,204 to the contractor.
Specifically, the contractor was also cited for the equipment being used in excess of its rated capacity (29 CFR 1926.1417), failing to ensure that the operator verified that the load was within the rated capacity (29 CFR 1926.1417), not ensuring that the equipment operator was competent (29 CFR 1926.1427), and for failing to ensure the employee was properly trained and understood the information (29 CFR 1926.1427).
You can view the full text of the citations by clicking here.
All trench collapse deaths are preventable. As soon as everyone on a job site starts believing that we might actually make some progress. In just the past 10 days, there have been 4 trench collapse deaths across 3 separate incidents, further highlighting how far we still need to go.
Falls on the jobsite is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction. Keeping up with housekeeping on your site is a great way to reduce risks of falls, but other protections, like rebar caps should be installed when rebar is exposed. A young construction worker recently found out the hard way what happens when rebar is left exposed.
On April 3, a congressional appropriations hearing was held to discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s Federal funding for fiscal year 2020. During the hearing, the secretary of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta, told the committee how OSHA plans to spend their budget and how the agency fared in the previous year.
Safety training in the construction industry is necessary to build worker awareness – not to mention that it’s legally required – but it can be extremely time consuming and expensive to have completed. There are many companies out there looking to make money off of keeping workers safe, which is why it’s great when a company offers training free of charge, like Procore’s Safety Qualified program.
Cranes collapsing on-site are serious business, especially since many of them resulted in the loss of life. A recent crane collapse on a construction site in Alpharetta, GA was caught on camera after it caught fire, but luckily no one was injured.
There are a lot of different specialty construction contracting sectors within the industry and cruise ships are definitely one of them. There are plenty of unique challenges when dealing with a moving ship versus a static building. A recent accident highlighted the challenges when a crane collapsed on a cruise ship under renovations, injuring 8 people.
The vast majority of safety related “conversations” that I’ve overheard, or have been a part of, in my career has been mostly a supervisor telling a worker to “knock it off” or something to that effect. The typical reaction from the worker is to stop doing the unsafe behavior, wait a few minutes when the supervisor has left the area, and then go right back to the way they were doing it originally.
It seems weird to be talking about new step ladder designs. Other than moving from wood to aluminum to fiberglass, the form and function of a stepladder hasn’t really ever changed. One of the biggest opportunities has always been the gap between how step ladders were designed to be used as opposed to how people actually use them. 3 major manufacturers now have a solution to at least some of those problems.
In 2018, OSHA announced that reducing trenching an excavation hazards on construction sites would be their priority goal. Since that time, the agency has releases a variety of different materials to help build outreach to contractors across the country, including updating their National Emphasis Program (NEP) on trench safety. On a recent newsletter, OSHA highlighted a video about soil classification in trenches and excavations, meant as an introduction to those who want to know more about the process.
Traditional safety training for construction workers includes OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour courses, toolbox talks, and safety inspections. Those training techniques are all important and necessary, but construction workers are an extremely hands-on group of individuals and putting them in real life situations can be much more beneficial to them instead of classroom training.