OSHA Exploring Possible Update to Lockout/Tagout Standard

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.

Read More

May 6 Kicks Off 2019 Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

via OSHA

via OSHA

Every year since 2012, OSHA, NIOSH, and CPWR have teamed up to lead a National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.  The campaign helps build awareness through supplying resources, organizing webinars, and other outreach techniques in hopes that it will help save lives in the construction industry.  The 2019 Stand Down has been scheduled for May 6-10.

In preparation for the campaign, the organizations involved have already released plenty of resources to help contractors prepare ahead of time.  The event is, of course, voluntary for all companies to participate in, but OSHA provides several tips for preparing for a successful stand down:

  1. Try to start early

  2. Think about asking your subcontractors, owner, architects, engineers, and others to participate

  3. Consider reviewing your existing fall prevention program

  4. Develop presentations or activities to meet your needs

  5. Decide when to hold the stand-down and how long it will last

  6. Promote the stand-down to your employees or outside the company, if it will be public

  7. Hold your stand-down

  8. Follow up

Free and Public Events

In addition to planning and performing your own stand-down activities and presentations, you can also find free and public events that are scheduled throughout the country through the events page on the National Safety Stand-Down webpage.

Resources

OSHA, NIOSH, and CPWR already have a lot of resources available for download and use on their respective websites. For example:

via NIOSH

via NIOSH

via NIOSH

via NIOSH

Certifications

After the event is over, contractors can visit OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down page to receive a Certificate of Participation and provide feedback about how their campaign went.  Documenting your training achievements and being recognized is a great way to show that your company is committed to reducing injuries and fatalities on your jobsites.

More Information: National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction | OSHA

Rash of Trench Collapse Deaths Highlight the Continual Need for Training

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.

Read More

3 Ladder Manufacturers Reinventing the Step Ladder | Tool Junkie

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.

Read More

OSHA Video Explains How to Properly Classify Soil for Trench Safety

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.

Read More

Harness Hero is a Free App that Teaches Proper Personal Fall Protection Use

Falls continue to be the number one leading cause of death on construction sites across the country, accounting for around 40% each year. Even if you can convince your construction crew to wear personal fall arrest systems each time they’re required, proper training is required to select the correct type of fall protection and the anchor points, as well as performing proper inspections of the equipment.  An app called Harness Hero is trying to help solve the latter problem.

Read More

Court Decision Says that GCs Can Receive OSHA Citations for Subcontractor Violations

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.

Read More

OSHA to Offer Temporary Compliance Assistance on Newly Effective Crane Operator Rule

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.

Read More

OSHA Releases 7 Videos To Help Prevent Falls in Construction

via OSHA, through  YouTube

via OSHA, through YouTube

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.

Floor Openings

Skylights

Fixed Scaffolds

Bridge Decking

Reroofing

Leading Edge Work

5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls