Tag Archive for workers compensation insurance

Workplace Fatalities Jump in 2014

Workplace Fatalities Jump in 2014A preliminary report by the Labor Department estimated 4,679 workplace fatalities in the U.S. last year, up from 4,585 in 2013, or 2% year over year.

The report is based on incomplete reporting and initial estimates, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. But if the numbers hold true, the oil and gas industry posted the highest gain at 27% over the previous year. Many of those deaths were in top oil-producing states, including Texas, Wyoming and Colorado. Meanwhile, oil-related deaths in North Dakota fell 32%.

Other industries responsible for the sharp rise include construction, agriculture, manufacturing and mining. The WSJ report also noted that female deaths rose from 8% Read more

Roles and Responsibilities for Communicating Safety Hazards at Construction Sites

Roles and Responsibilities for Communicating Safety Hazards at the Job SiteWith full enforcement of OSHA’s new rule for construction work in confined spaces set for October 2, 2015, construction firms large and small need to understand their roles and responsibilities for communicating safety hazards at construction sites.


Understanding the roles of all parties involved is an essential element of hazard communication. It’s sometimes unclear, even for seasoned construction pros.

The three basic roles, as defined by OSHA, are:

Host Employer

This is usually the owner of the site, but may be a firm representing the owner, such as a general contractor.

Controlling Employer

This party manages the job site as a whole, including firms hired for specific work. In Read more

Top Trends Shaping the Future of Construction Firms

Top Trends Shaping the Future of Construction FirmsThe construction industry is changing faster than ever. Customer expectations and competition are driving firms to evolve quickly or fail. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Several emerging trends are changing construction firms for the better. Others, however, are keeping the industry from meeting rising demands. Construction Dive recently published the article 10 Trends Defining the Construction Industry. We thought you might find her list interesting. Here’s a brief look at some of her top picks, along with a few of our own.

Labor Shortage

It’s the one trend everyone is talking about. Construction needs more workers to keep up with demand. Contractors had 143,000 unfilled jobs in June of this year, according to the Read more

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

5 Tips for Better Subcontractor Management in Construction

Construction JobsSubcontractors have become the norm at construction sites. The benefits to construction firms are plenty. But so are the risks. On the surface, a quality sub should make your job easier. Alternately, a sub-quality sub can put your entire operation in jeopardy. As you weigh the pros and cons of using subcontractors on the jobsite, here’s what some construction industry experts are saying as to how you can get the most out of these relationships and mitigate risk at the same time.

1. Prequalification

The only risk you assume here is time lost to vetting an unqualified sub. Take the time to Read more

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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