Archive for Safety Performance

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

Simple Tips for a Safe Holiday Season

Simple Tips for a Safe Holiday SeasonWith the holiday season in full swing, here are a few tips to help you keep the festivities safe for family and friends. While many of these tips may seem like a blinding flash of the obvious, year-after-year emergency responders across the nation are called to action for entirely avoidable circumstances. So please keep these in mind while celebrating this season.

Drink Responsibly

Appoint a designated driver, get a taxi or simply stay put until you can drive safely. Alcohol is still one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities. It’s just not worth it. If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.

Buckle Up for Safety

This simple and effective safety measure is forgotten by many during the holidays. Whether you’re visiting family far away or just going down the street, take a moment before pulling out of the driveway to make sure everyone is ready for a safe journey.

Be Weather Ready

Winter travel requires additional preparation. Start with an inspection by a professional mechanic and address any issues before you hit the road. Have flares, blankets, a first-aid kit, flashlight, water, and snacks in your vehicle at all times. A shovel and a bag of kitty litter are especially helpful when you’re stuck in the snow.

Holiday Decorations

Choose decorations made from flame-resistant or non-combustible materials. Always keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials. Carefully inspect all lighting and repair or replace any damaged items before plugging them in. Make sure lights are mounted securely to avoid damaging the wire insulation. Confirm all outdoor lighting is certified for outdoor use and make sure all lighting is properly grounded. Never overload outlets or extension cords as is can lead to fire. And remember to turn off all electric decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves

Before using a fireplace or stove, test all smoke alarms and have fire extinguishers nearby. Keep the area around your fireplace or stove clear and double check that the flue is open before starting a fire. Always use a fireplace screen to catch burning embers. Never Read more

10 Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

10 Tips for a Safe ThanksgivingAs we all pause to give thanks, here are 10 tips to help you keep friends and family safe throughout the celebration.

  1. Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop.
  2. Have a working ABC, UL fire extinguisher in the kitchen and remember the acronym P.A.S.S.
    1. Pull the pin.
    2. Aim the spray nozzle at the base of the fire.
    3. Squeeze the nozzle to spray the contents.
    4. Sweep back and forth as you spray the base of the fire.
  3. Keep a fire-resistant oven mitt close to your cooking area. If a fire starts in a pan, use the oven mitt to pick up the lid and cover the fire. Turn off the stove and do not remove the lid until the pan has cooled.
  4. In the case of an oven fire, keep the oven door closed and turn off the oven to prevent flames from spreading. If the fire does not go out quickly, call 9-1-1.
  5. Never wear loose clothing while cooking as it can catch fire from hot burners or open flames.
  6. Make sure a kitchen smoke alarm is installed and in good working condition before you start cooking.
  7. Never pour water on a grease fire as it is likely to spread. Using a fire-resistant oven mitt, carefully cover the pan, turn off the burner and wait until the pan has cooled before you remove it.
  8. Turn pot handles inward to avoid spills that commonly result in burns.
  9. Never put glass dishes or lids on a stove top. They can overheat and explode.
  10. Unplug small appliances when not in use.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

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.

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:

Top 10 OSHA Safety Violations Make Big Jump in 2013

Top 10 OSHA Safety ViolationsA 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

Read more

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

construction site safetyAn “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_45462577The 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