Saturday, January 21, 2017

Construction Worksite Safety

Construction safety is one of OSHA's top concerns. Construction is among the most dangerous industries in the country and construction inspections comprise 60% of OSHA's total inspections. In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that there were 751 fatal on-the-job injuries to construction workers – more than in any other single industry sector and nearly one out of every six work-related deaths in the U.S. that year.

Several OSHA standards for the construction industry address safety and health program elements. Below is a list of topics relevant to developing and maintaining a safety program, along with some regulatory citations applicable to each topic.

Clas Consulting’s trainers that have been authorized by OSHA teach both the 10-hour and the 30-hour construction outreach courses.  Upon successful course completion, students will receive Completion Cards from the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The 10-hour program is intended to provide instruction on a variety of construction industry safety and health standards to entry-level participants. Currently, the OSHA 10 hour construction course is required in the states of New York, Nevada, Missouri, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island for work on publicly funded projects of varying amounts.  Additionally, the states of Nevada and Connecticut require the course to be retaken every 5 years.

The 30-hour program is intended to provide instruction on a variety of construction industry safety and health standards to intermediate and advanced level participants with some safety responsibility. Training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention, not OSHA standards.

A. Management Commitment to Safety and Health

(1) Provide employees with sanitary and safe working conditions [29 CFR 1926.20(a)]. 
(2) Assign safety and health responsibilities; [
29 CFR 1926.20(b)
(3) Give safety and health designees authority to correct hazards [
29 CFR 1926.32(f)
(4) Ensure employees that they may voice safety and health concerns without fear of reprisal [
29 CFR 1903.11(d)
(5) Inform employees of hazards [
29 CFR 1926.21(b), 29 CFR 1926.3329 CFR 1926.5929 CFR 1926.45429 CFR 1926 Subpart Z
(6) Coordinate hazard communication with other employers on site [
29 CFR 1926.5929 CFR 1926.6529 CFR 1926.652
(7) Post the OSHA State or Federal Poster [
29 CFR 1903.2(a)].


B. Hazard Identification and Determination

(1) Evaluate operations, procedures, facilities, and equipment to identify hazards [29 CFR 1926.20(a); 29 CFR 1926.21(b)]. 
(2) Monitor exposure levels [
29 CFR 1926.55 29 CFR 1926.62 29 CFR 1926 Subpart Z29 CFR 1926.1101].
(3) Ensure regular safety and health inspections [
29 CFR 1926.20(b)(2)29 CFR 1926.703(b)29 CFR 1926.1081].
(4) Conduct accident investigations [
29 CFR 1904.4].
(5) Determine if engineering or administrative controls or personnel protective equipment are to be used [
29 CFR 1926.10329 CFR 1926.951].


C. Hazard Elimination and Control

(1) Ensure machines and tools are in safe working order and in compliance with relevant standards [29 CFR 1926.20(b)(3)29 CFR 1926.550(a), 29 CFR 1926.951].
(2) Institute engineering and work practice controls to eliminate health hazards [
29 CFR 1926.5529 CFR 1926.103, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart Z].
(3) Perform housekeeping to remove hazards posed by scrap and debris in work areas [
29 CFR 1926.25; 29 CFR 1926.852; 29 CFR 1926.152(c)(5); 29 CFR 1926.900(k)(5)].
(4) Provide appropriate personal protective equipment when other controls are infeasible [
29 CFR 1926.28(a), 29 CFR 1926 Subpart E].
(5) Guarantee safe means of egress [
29 CFR 1926.34].


D. Emergency Response Planning

(1) Develop emergency response plans [29 CFR 1926.3529 CFR 1926.65(q)]. 
(2) Develop fire prevention and protection programs [
29 CFR 1926.2429 CFR 1926.35229 CFR 1926 Subpart F].


E. First Aid and Medical

(1) Provide medical services, first aid treatment, and supplies [29 CFR 1926.50(a)29 CFR 1926.103,  29 CFR 1926.50(c)29 CFR 1926.50(d)29 CFR 1926 Subpart Z]. 
(2) Ensure availability of emergency rescue for injured employees [
29 CFR 1926.50(e), 29 CFR 1926.106(a)29 CFR 1926.21(b)(6), 29 CFR 1926.802(b)]. 
(3) Post emergency numbers for physicians, hospitals, or ambulances [
29 CFR 1926.50(f)]. 


F. Training

(1) Train employees to recognize hazards [29 CFR 1926.21(b)(2)29 CFR 1926.6529 CFR 1926.302(e)29 CFR 1926.1060]. 
(2) Train workers to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions [
29 CFR 1926.21(b)(2)29 CFR 1926.6529 CFR 1926.45429 CFR 1926.901(c)]. 
(3) Provide training on safe work practices and applicable standards [
29 CFR 1926.21(b)]. 
(4) Provide training on safe operation of equipment and machinery [
29 CFR 1926.20(b)(4), 29 CFR 1926.302(e)]. 
(5) Provide training on hazards of access ladders and stairways [
29 CFR 1926.1060(a)29 CFR 1926.45429 CFR 1926.800(b) and (c)]. 
(6) Provide training on confined and enclosed space entry hazards and precautions [
29 CFR 1926.21(b)(6)29 CFR 1926.353(b)29 CFR 1926.801].


G. Recordkeeping and Abatement Verification

(1) Record injuries and fatalities [29 CFR 1904.529 CFR 1904.8]. 
(2) Maintain medical records [
29 CFR 1926.33]. 
(3) Maintain exposure records [
29 CFR 1926.33]. 
(4) Maintain appropriate documents and tags for abatement verification [
29 CFR 1903.19].


Does a safety and health program really make a difference?


The best Safety and Health Programs involve every level of the organization, instilling a safety culture that reduces accidents for workers and improves the bottom line for managers. When Safety and Health are part of the organization and a way of life, everyone wins.  

There are four crucial questions you should be asking:

     What Return on Investment can S&H programs provide?
          • Improved employee morale,
          • Decreased lost time,
          • Fewer workplace injuries and illnesses,
          • Lower insurance costs, and
          • Safety culture adoption.

     How can safety & health become a part of the way our business runs?
          • Combine performance standards with S&H standards,
          • Talk the talk and walk the walk,
          • Top down support, and
          • Bottom up implementation.

     What indicators tell me if I'm getting weaker or stronger?
          • Statistical reports,
          • Opinion surveys,
          • Risk analysis,
          • Periodic inspections,
          • Process improvement initiatives.

     What practices are best for assuring lasting success?
          • Obtain management buy-in.
          • Build trust.
          • Conduct self-assessments.
          • Develop a site safety vision.
          • Develop a system of accountability and measures.
          • Implement recognition and rewards.
          • Provide awareness training.
          • Implement process changes.
          • Continually measure, communicate results and celebrate successes.


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Falls are the #1 cause of work-related deaths in construction and a leading cause of injuries.
They can be prevented. Plan. Provide. Train.

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Safety Matters

Only about 30 percent of businesses have established safety and health programs. About half of the 95 million workers who would be covered under an OSHA safety and health program standard don't have that protection today. Establishing a safety and health program to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses is not only the right thing to do, it's the profitable thing to do. Studies have shown a $4 to $6 return for every dollar invested in safety and health.

Clas Consulting can assist your company develop an effective safety policy for your construction company. From top to bottom we can assist in developing safety programs, develop a site safety plan, provide evaluation and auditing services and evaluation services, and conduct safety training (including both OSHA 10 and 30-hour Construction Outreach training, toolbox talks, etc.). We can provide safety personnel for your project start to finish no matter where they might be. We can oversight and onsite expertise. Our consultants have expertise in new construction, turn-arounds, pipeline construction, on and offshore production facilities, mining, etc. 

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