Falls have long been the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for nearly 40% on an annual basis. Unsurprisingly, OSHA also issues the most citations for falls, and 2 different fall protection standards were on their top 10 most frequently cited violations list of 2018. To help build awareness and in an effort to reduce the number of deaths caused by falls, OSHA has released 6 videos and several other resources for employers.
In addition to the videos, posted below, OSHA has also announced that the 6th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be held from May 6 to May 10th in 2019. That event encourages employers across the country to take some time out of their days to discuss the seriousness of fall protection.
A 24-page Fall Prevention Training Guide has also been released as part of their outreach program. It contains a roadmap for how and when to use fall prevention toolbox talks, as well as a variety of other useful information for training your employees.
Fact sheets for both ladders and scaffolding are available, as well. In the ladders category, extension ladders, job-made wooden ladders, and stepladders all have their own individual fact sheets. In the scaffolding category, narrow frame scaffolds, ladder jack scaffolds, and tube and coupler scaffolds all have their own individual fact sheets.
Now on to the videos. I’m a huge fan of videos, because I think providing visuals is hugely important for knowledge retention and many of us in the construction industry are visual learners.
Leading Edge Work
5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls
Multi-employer worksites are extremely common in the construction industry, but they can still make work extremely complicated. One of those complications results when a subcontractor receives a governmental violation, such as an OSHA violation. As a controlling employer on the site, can a general contractor be held responsible for safety hazards of a subcontractor? One court says yes.
After an abundance of delays on rule that would require crane operators to be formally qualified to operate, OSHA finally landed on an effective date of February 7, 2019. After receiving feedback from industry partners, OSHA has decided to delay enforcement for 60 days for contractors who make a “good faith effort” to comply.
As has been expected for a few months now, OSHA has officially removed the requirement for large companies with 250 or more employees to submit OSHA Forms 300 and 301. The administration cited privacy concerns as the reason for the change.
Be careful - owners and contractors are now being held criminally liable for their carelessness and disregard of safety protocols.
Since the 2016 Federal budget was passed, OSHA has increased their maximum citation penalty amount to adjust for inflation on a yearly basis. The 2019 increase has recently been announced.
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.
After an uptick in construction industry fatalities in 2016, a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that both the amount of construction worker deaths and the rate of fatality dropped in 2017.
At the National Safety Council Congress & Expo on October 23, 2018, OSHA’s deputy director of Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced their 10 most frequesntly cited safety violations for their fiscal year 2018.
On March 15, 2018, 6 people were killed and 8 others were injured when an under construction pedestrian bridge collapsed in Florida. Several months later, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released their preliminary report while conducting an official investigation. The NTSB later issued an “Investigative Update” to their preliminary report in August. In Mid-November, the NTSB released a 2nd investigative update, narrowing their root cause theories.