“A measure that will require contractors to retain construction superintendents for all major projects at buildings over three stories is among the 14 pieces of legislation signed into law May 10 by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Several are related to construction safety and construction cranes.
“Today we have a mix of bills that improve transparency and public access to information, help create a more equitable and accessible city, increase construction safety, as well as bills involving the web portal used by vendors who do business with the City of New York,” de Blasio said. “I would like to thank Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the sponsors of these bills for continuing the fight for transparency, equity, accessibility, and safety for all New Yorkers.”
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“OSHA on Dec. 1 issued new recommended practices to help construction industry employers develop proactive programs to keep their workplaces safe, with the agency saying the recommendations may be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized contractors who lack safety and health specialists on staff.
Contractors can create a safety and health program, according to OSHA, by using a number of simple steps that include training workers on how to identify and control hazards; inspecting the job site with workers to identify problems with equipment and materials; and developing responses to possible emergency scenarios in advance. “The recommendations outlined in this document will help contractors prevent injuries and illnesses on their construction sites and make their companies more profitable,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.”
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“Risk is not a new concept. In fact, every day we evaluate the risks in our lives and make decisions accordingly. Everything from the house we live in to the speed of our car to the route we take to work to how we spend our money are all based on decisions to manage and mitigate risk. Although more complex, your company does the same.
A great deal of time and effort is often spent developing Health and Safety Plans for organizations in an effort to manage risk. Most health and safety plans are comprehensive in nature and provide such things as the nature of hazards present in the workplace, as well as who will be responsible for health and safety related tasks that are conducted to protect against these hazards. As the name implies, it is a plan, or detailed course of action to be taken in order to achieve a desired outcome. Most can agree that the desired outcome when it pertains to safety and health is the prevention of injury to workers and damage to property.”
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“Companies hiring construction contractors are paying more attention than ever to the safety and health programs of the contractors and subcontractors they are hiring. This vetting (and to some, vexing) trend is moving from beyond primarily major governmental contracts and the contracts of major construction owners, to other segments of the industry.
And, it’s no longer as simple as a purchasing department checking to see if contractors have certificates of insurance and a low Experience Modification Rating (EMR). Rather, more savvy firms are checking, either directly or through 3rd party contractor vetting services, to see if potential contractors have programs for hazard analysis and control as well as for high potential hazard work, (for example, fall protection, confined space entry, trenching/excavation, processes with hazardous materials), and sometimes for more complex safety management systems.
This webinar will discuss the state of contractor prequalification programs from different perspectives, and new regulations and standards that should be considered by both construction “owners” and contractors.
It will also address questions such as: What should an organization using construction contractors look for in a contractor’s safety programs? How might the ISO/Draft International Standard (DIS) 45001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, affect this? What is a reasonable approach for construction contractors to take to both work safely and to present the best programs to potential clients? What are some post-award considerations?
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DATE: July 14, 2016
Now that almost all of us have all “sprung forward” for this year, turning our clocks ahead as daylight saving time has taken effect (except for most of Arizona and all of Hawaii), it’s time to focus on the long list of summer hazards facing construction workers. There are resources aplenty to help any safety professional put together a toolbox talk on any of them—heat, noise, working at heights, mobile equipment, chemical exposures, hand and foot hazards, and many others.
NIOSH’s tips for preventing heat illness include these steps:
Adjust work schedules to provide workers with rest from the heat
Postpone nonessential tasks
Provide cool rest areas, shade, and water for workers
Wear proper protective clothing
Ensure workers drink enough water to stay hydrated
Allow workers time to acclimate to the hot environment
Educate workers and supervisors to recognize heat illness and how to prevent it.”
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“Eastern New York Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers is proud to announce the following technical meeting on September 21st, at the Century House, Latham, beginning at 5:30 p.m.:
On May 4, 2015, OSHA issued a new standard for construction work in confined spaces, which will be effective starting August 3, 2015. Confined spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be avoided if they are recognized and addressed prior to entering these spaces to perform work. The new standard, Subpart AA of 29 CFR 1926 will help prevent construction workers from being hurt or killed by eliminating and isolating hazards in confined spaces at construction sites similar to the way workers in other industries are already protected.
This presentation will discuss the new standard and assist employers in protecting their workers while working in and around confined spaces in construction industries.”
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“The American Society of Safety Engineers released the results of its 2015 salary survey on July 31. More than 9,000 occupational safety and health professionals participated, and the survey showed they earn an annual base salary on average of $98,000. That figure reflects a hefty increase of $8,000 since the survey was taken two years ago.
The ASSE survey is part of a collaboration with the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals, American Industrial Hygiene Association, Board of Certified Safety Professionals, and Institute of Hazardous Materials Management. Complete results from the 2015 survey, plus an interactive calculator, are available at www.asse.org/salarysurvey.”
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“The hard hat is a piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to protect us when all other methods of protection cannot. Its use is often required since all hazards simply cannot be eliminated. Hard hats protect our heads when we are at risk from bumping our heads; from falling tools or materials when there are workers, machines, conveyor belts, etc. above us; from objects being carried or swung nearby; or from electrical shock and burns. These hazards exist in most workplaces in many different forms.
Hard hats are commonly worn by carpenters, construction workers, electricians, freight handlers, lineman, mechanics, plumbers, pipe fitters, timber cutting and logging operators, warehouse laborers, and welders.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Guidance
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for head protection are referenced in 29 CFR 1910.135 (General Industry) and 1926.100 (Construction).
29 CFR 1910.135(a)(1) states, “Each affected employee shall wear protective helmets when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.” The standard also covers conditions where electrical hazards are present. 1910.135(a)(2) states, “Protective helmets designed to reduce electrical shock hazard shall be worn by each such affected employee when near exposed electrical conductors which could contact the head.”
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“When it comes to investing in and installing fall arrest equipment, how to safely anchor the system can be one of the most difficult and confusing decisions. Even the most comfortable harness and a maximum shock-absorbing design can be useless if the anchorage device is not designed to withstand the load associated with a fall. Luckily, the experts at Gorbel have answered five of the most common questions around anchorage—keeping both your workers and your products safe and secure.
1. What is Anchorage? Anchorage is a secure point to attach a lifeline, lanyard, deceleration device, or any other fall arrest or rescue system. Anchorage points include structural steel members, pre-cast concrete beams, and wooden trusses.
2. What do I need for proper anchorage? An anchorage connector (or an anchor). An anchorage connector is a piece of equipment used as a safe means of attachment for the lanyard or lifeline to the anchorage, such as cable and synthetic slings, roof anchors, trolleys, and beam clamps.”
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“While hazards to the eyes exist in nearly every industry, construction ranks second among occupations with the highest rate of eye injuries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workers in this field often conduct various job functions in the course of a day and therefore face a wide variety of hazards, including airborne debris, splashing chemicals, and radiation. In the summer, when the amount of work conducted outdoors surges, workers are exposed to even more eye hazards caused by environmental factors such as high wind, natural light, extreme heat, and humidity.
Because every site is unique, no single standard for eye protection exists for the construction industry. However, national and employer-based standards are in place to help guide safety managers in selecting the personal protective equipment to keep workers safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls for employers to outfit workers with the appropriate type of safety eyewear for the specific hazards present and to ensure such eyewear is properly fitted. Furthermore, many workplaces implement guidelines above and beyond OSHA’s for the types of eye protection to be used based on the specific hazards that are present.”