Archive for Paul Volkmer

Important OSHA Injury Reporting Changes for 2015

Construction Safety 2 300x225 Important OSHA Injury Reporting Changes 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

 The Real Cost of Construction Site AccidentsOccupational 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.

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The General Contractor’s Guide to Understanding Safety Performance Ratings

 The General Contractors Guide to Understanding Safety Performance RatingsIt’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

Construction Fall Protection e1396013849818 300x192 Fall Protection and OSHA Compliance: What You Need to KnowWe 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:

Top 10 OSHA Safety Violations Make Big Jump in 2013

Construction Safety small 300x208 Top 10 OSHA Safety Violations Make Big Jump in 2013A year ago, we reported on the  top 10 OSHA safety violations for 2012. A year later, the number of OSHA safety violations is up 46%. While the list of common violations remains largely intact, many have moved up or down the list. Most importantly, every violation in the top 10 earned more citations than the previous year.

Here’s the top 10 OSHA safety violations for 2013. Click on each to see OSHA’s recommendations for safe operation and compliance.

1. Fall Protection  (code: 29 CFR 1926.501)

Up 14% to 8,241 violations
2012 Rank: 1

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Common Mistakes that Lead to Construction Injuries….And How to Prevent Them

construction worker1 186x300 Common Mistakes that Lead to Construction Injuries….And How to Prevent ThemAn “accident” is normally defined as an unexpected or unforeseen condition with an element of “chance”. In the world of construction, incidents can happen to even the most experienced professionals and are not normally due to “chance”. Incident causation is usually based on unsafe acts and/or unsafe conditions and therefore can be prevented. Developed in the late 1920s, Heinrich’s Domino Theory regarding the sequence of events that lead to construction injuries still holds true today. The theory states:

  1. Social Environment [that develops…]
  2. Undesirable work traits – recklessness, lack of knowledge,  nervousness [that creates…]
  3. Unsafe work acts / Unsafe work conditions [that cause the…]
  4. Incident [that results in…]
  5. Injury

This theory places strong emphasis on the Unsafe Work Act / Unsafe Work Condition “domino” as Heinrich believed that unsafe acts more frequently are the cause of Read more

Worker Injuries on the Rise as Construction Rebounds

shutterstock 45462577 150x150 Worker Injuries on the Rise as Construction ReboundsThe recent uptick in construction has resulted in a concurrent rise in recordable injuries on job sites. In 2012 construction site fatalities jumped to 750, or 5% over the previous year. As the industry continues to rebound, new emphasis is needed on safety to keep total recordable incidents to a minimum.

Rising Risk

With construction on the upswing, new workers are flocking to the industry. Inexperience is the single greatest factor in the growing number of incidents. And as baby boomers retire by the thousands, younger, less experienced workers are taking their place.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is acting to combat the rise in Read more

How to Spot Workers’ Comp Fraud

shutterstock 94651684 150x150 How to Spot Workers’ Comp FraudWorkers’ compensation insurance fraud is an unfortunate but still common occurrence in the construction industry. Fraudulent claims increase insurance rates and put additional strain on already-struggling construction firms. While legitimate claims should always be filed and paid according the state and federal requirements, spotting fraudulent claims can help protect your business and reduce expensive insurance rate hikes.

Here are a few red flags that may prompt further review of a worker’s comp claim. Read more

OSHA’s Tips for Preventing Heat Illness

Construction Worker in Heat 300x225 OSHA’s Tips for Preventing Heat IllnessThe mercury is rising and people who work outdoors are at an increased risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Risk of heat related illnesses peaks when temperatures reach 95o F with humidity over 60%. Symptoms can range in severity from mild heat cramps to life-threatening heat stroke. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a Heat Illness Prevention Campaign to minimize the casualties of this 100% preventable condition.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency!

If an individual shows signs of heat stroke, seek professional medical treatment immediately! Call 911 or your site designated emergency number.

What is Heat Related Illness?

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National Work Zone Awareness Week: How can you help?

The 14th annual  National Work Zone Awareness Week: How can you help?National Work Zone Awareness Week April is this week, April 15th through 19th. Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the week aims to raise awareness of work zone safety issues, for workers and motorists alike. The FHWA has a library of useful information regarding work zone safety. Below is a list of a few of the most common dangers and what you can do to prevent them.

Primary Work Zone Dangers

  • Confused or distracted motorists traveling in work areas (Most injuries and deaths in work zones are caused by rear-end collisions.)
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