Archive for Paul Volkmer

New OSHA Smartphone App Gauges Risk of Heat Illness

New OSHA Smartphone App Gauges Risk of Heat IllnessThe heat is on. And anyone working outdoors or in confined spaces is at risk for heat-related illness, such as heat stroke. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is combating heat illness with an App that gives iPhone and Android users real-time analysis of rising temps.

According to OSHA, the App calculates the heat index and displays a risk level for outdoor workers. The App also lists preventative measures that should be taken to protect workers at risk and the symptoms of heat-related illness.

Learn more and download the App from OSHA.com. Also see Tips for Preventing Heat Illness.

The OSHA App changes to red
in “Extreme Risk” situations.

Simple Tools That Improve Worksite Safety

Eliminating hazards in the factory or on the jobsite can be as easy as selecting the best tool for the job. As we recognize National Safety Month, here are a couple tools that can reduce your risk without blowing your budget.

Self-retracting Cutters

Cutters with “Smart Knife Technology” retract the blade automatically when it loses contact with the material it’s cutting. The blade will self-retract even if the user tries to override the safety system by leaving the slider in the forward position. Cutters with Smart Knife Technology cost slightly more than conventional cutters but can prevent injuries making them well worth the investment.

Tool Lanyards

This may be the easiest way to prevent falling object injuries on a worksite. Tool lanyards are elastic straps that connect tools to a tool belt or personal fall protection.

Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries: 

  1. Use tool lanyards.Simple Tools That Improve Worksite Safety
  2. Keep all material at least 3 feet from a leading edge, other than material specifically required for work in process.
  3. Remove items from loose or unsealed pockets, especially top shirt pockets, such as phones, pens, and tools.
  4. Do not hang objects over guardrails.
  5. Secure all objects when working on an elevated surface.
  6. Ensure toe boards are present and inspect toe boards frequently. They should be at least 4 inches high and continuous. 4 inches is the minimum height with a maximum ¼-inch clearance from the working surface.
  7. Require hardhats and other relevant PPE for everyone in areas at risk for falling objects—no exceptions. Make sure that this is effectively communicated.
  8. Rope off the area, if possible, where fall/drop hazards may exist – especially if work is being performed on a ladder.
  9. Work as a team to avoid complacency and remain vigilant of these procedures at all times.
  10. Ensure hardhats and other required PPE is inspected prior to use and is used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.

2 Commonly Overlooked Job Site Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Construction Site SafetyJune is National Safety Month, so we’ll be posting a series of safety tips, policy updates and other useful information to help you and your team stay safe on the job site, in the factory or wherever hazards may be.

Here are two hazards that tend to fly under many project managers’ radars. Both pose serious threats to individuals and are entirely avoidable.

Working Alone

Limited perception and limited number of hands can result in workers overlooking or missing hazards altogether. To minimize the risks associated with working alone, a Hazard Read more

New OSHA Confined Spaces Rule Starts August 3

OHSA Confined Spaces RuleA new rule from Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulating how the construction industry operates in confined spaces will go into effect on August 3, 2015.

“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels.

OSHA says that confined spaces put workers at heightened risk for face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, Read more

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2014

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2014Fall Protection remains the most commonly cited OSHA standard according to the recently released top 10 OSHA violations in 2014. The annual list from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is intended to help employers identify safety concerns so they can take corrective action to avoid citations, injuries or worse.

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2014

(as of October 28, 2014)

  1. Fall Protection – 1926.501 – 2013 Rank: 1
  2. Hazard Communication – 1910.1200 – 2013 Rank: 2
  3. Scaffolding – 1926.451 – 2013 Rank: 3
  4. Respiratory Protection – 1910.134 – 2013 Rank: 4
  5. Powered Industrial Trucks – 1910.178 – 2013 Rank: 6
  6. Lockout/Tagout – 1910.147 – 2013 Rank: 8
  7. Ladders – 1926.1053 – 2013 Rank: 7
  8. Electrical, Wire Methods – 1910.305 – 2013 Rank: 5
  9. Machine Guarding – 1910.212 – 2013 Rank: 10
  10. Electrical, General Requirements – 1910.303 – 2013 Rank: 9

Read more

10 Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries

10 Tips for Preventing Falling Object InjuriesEarlier this month a man was killed at a construction site New Jersey when a 1-pound tape measure fell 50 stories and struck him in the head. This tragedy is a stark reminder that falling object injuries can and do occur. It could also be considered a call for an industry-wide effort to prevent these incidents in the future.

Falling Object Statistics

  • A solid object dropped from 64 feet will hit the ground in 2 seconds at a speed of 43.8 miles per hour.
  • The same object dropped at 106 feet will hit the ground in 3 seconds at a speed of 65.8 miles per hour.
  • A 2-ounce pen dropped from 230 feet has the potential to penetrate a hardhat.

Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries

Read more

Important OSHA Injury Reporting Changes for 2015

Important Changes to OSHA Injury Reporting for 2015Effective January 1, 2015, OSHA has revamped its requirements for reporting specific injuries and hospitalizations. In addition to notifying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of all work-related fatalities within 8 hours, employers under federal OSHA will be required to notify the administration within 24 hours when an employee suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. This new rule resembles the CAL/OSHA rule already in place.

Current regulations require an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of 3 or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye is not required.

Learn more about the new notification requirements now at OHSA.com.

The Real Cost of Construction Site Accidents

Construction Site SafetyOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can sometimes be expensive, appear unnecessary or extreme, or even just a pain. But when faced with the alternative, a robust safety program is the far better option. Here are just a few factors to consider every time your team heads out to the construction site.

Insurance Hike

Workers’ compensation insurance is frequently a contractors single largest expense next to payroll and materials. Even a single claim can result in a huge rate hike that is sure to put a dent in your bottom line.

Read more

The General Contractor’s Guide to Understanding Safety Performance Ratings

Construction Site Safety KitIt’s no secret that injuries on the job site are a costly mistake. Nonetheless, the Bureau of Labor Statics recorded more than 1.1 million non-fatal construction-related injuries and illnesses in 2012. It’s a powerful incentive to go the extra mile to keep injuries to a minimum and with them, their impact on your bottom line.

Soon we’ll talk in greater detail about the many costs associated with poor safety performance. But first, here are some terms that every GC or sub, or any firm working in construction needs to understand.

Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is a computation determined by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) that compares a company’s annual losses in worker compensation Read more

Fall Protection and OSHA Compliance: What You Need to Know

Fall ProtectionWe recently published an article about the 46% jump in OSHA violations from 2012 to 2013. Not surprisingly, fall protection topped the list, again, with more than 8,000 violations, or 33 percent more than the second most common violation, Hazard Communication. The article sparked some good conversation around the industry about fall protection compliance and best practices.

With this in mind, here are some OSHA codes and general information that every project manager and worker should fully understand before stepping onto a jobsite. Because regulations can change, it is important that you consult the appropriate professionals when considering code compliance

Meet or exceed these codes: