Comprehensive OSHA Safety Training Program
May 2019, ESI welcomed Fortier Loss Control Consultants, Inc. as the administrator of the company’s safety training. Fortier, known in the industry for providing elite safety consulting and testing services to protect the health and safety of employees and meeting compliance requirements, developed the new ESI Safety Manual. In June, Brian Dolan of Fortier began administering training and re-certifications of the company’s personnel.
JUNE NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH
National Safety Month spotlights the leading causes of injury and death to save lives and prevent injuries. It brings continual awareness of the growing opioid epidemic that is destroying our nation’s workforce. It reinforces the importance of safety practices in all areas of our lives whether it be in our workplaces, on our roads, our homes, or our communities. It focuses on mitigating the dangers of many types of hazards. It stresses the importance of recognizing fatigue and heat related illnesses.
How can you keep them safe?
Summer heat is not a joke — construction workers account for about one-third of all heat-related worker deaths annually. Excessive heat can cause heat stroke or heat exhaustion, and just being overheated makes workers more susceptible to accidents or injuries.
Here are 7 steps you can take to protect your workers on hot days.
1. Understand the heat index.
Humidity intensifies the effects of heat. The heat index takes into account both temperature and humidity to provide a more accurate measure of how hot it feels than the temperature alone. Working in direct sunlight or while wearing heavy clothing can exacerbate heat even beyond what the heat index shows. Pay attention to weather forecasts, including the heat index, to plan your workers’ schedules.
2. Allow frequent breaks for rest and hydration.
Employees should take water breaks every 15 minutes during high-heat days. Drinking small amounts of water frequently is better than drinking a lot of water at lengthy intervals. If shade is not available at the jobsite, provide shade with a canopy or umbrella. You can also set up fans to provide a cooling breeze.
3. Rotate jobs.
You can help prevent heat exhaustion by having employees share the more physically strenuous jobs and alternating these tasks with lighter work. You may also need to schedule more workers on hot days to handle the same volume of work, because each individual employee will be less productive at this time.
4. Dress appropriately.
The right clothing can help workers be more effective in the heat. They should wear light-colored, lightweight clothing that allows for airflow. Clothing with SPF built in can help, too. Hats should provide enough shade to protect the face and neck without blocking vision; a cooling neck bandanna is another smart move.
5. Watch for symptoms of heat-related illness.
Make sure all workers know what to watch for in themselves and others, and have them keep an eye on each other — sometimes, it’s easier to see when someone else is showing signs of heat-related illness than to recognize it in yourself.
6. Have an emergency plan.
Employees and supervisors should know the warning signs of heat-related illness and how to respond to each situation, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Have plenty of water and ice packs available on the job site to help cool employees in case of an emergency. Make sure that workers immediately report any incidents to supervisors so they can take proper steps, including recording the incident.
7. Allow acclimation time.
Construction workers who are new on the job are the most likely to be stricken by heat-related illnesses because they haven’t yet gotten used to working in the heat. Similarly, the first hot days of the year will often have the strongest effect on workers. Schedule work so as to allow employees to build up their heat tolerance gradually.
FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2017, there were 366 fatal falls to a lower level out of 971 construction fatalities (BLS data). These deaths are preventable.
Since 2012, OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) – Construction Sector on the Fall Prevention Campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about common fall hazards in construction, and how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented.
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely
When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.
When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).
PROVIDE the right equipment
Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.
Use the right ladder or scaffold to get the job done safely. For roof work, if workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect it for safe use.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
Every worker should be trained on proper set-up and safe use of equipment they use on the job. Employers must train workers in recognizing hazards on the job. See educational materials and resources page for posters, factsheets, and other training materials.
THREE simple steps to preventing falls:
Fall Protection [29 CFR 1926.760]
In steel erection, a new, very narrow working surface is constantly being created as skeletal steel is erected at various heights. For many steel erectors, especially connectors, the work starts at the top level of the structure. This means that anchor points above foot level are often limited or unavailable. The special circumstances of steel erection can make conventional fall protection very difficult to deploy below 15 feet. For this reason, the following requirements and exceptions in the the steel erection fall protection standard have been made.
NOTE: The perimeter safety cables protect the detail crew that follows the decking crew.
Be protected by conventional fall protection when working on a surface with an unprotected edge more than two stories or 30 feet above a lower level.
While working at heights over 15 and up to 30 feet, connectors must:
The steel erector may leave fall protection in place so it may be used by other trades only if the controlling contractor:
OSHA’s scaffolding standard has several key provisions:
Fall protection or fall arrest systems — Each employee more than 10 feet above a lower level shall be protected from falls by guardrails or a fall arrest system, except those on single-point and two-point adjustable suspension scaffolds. Each employee on a single-point and two-point adjustable suspended scaffold shall be protected by both a personal fall arrest system and a guardrail.
Guardrail height — The height of the toprail for scaffolds manufactured and placed in service after January 1, 2000 must be between 38 inches (0.9 meters) and 45 inches (1.2 meters). The height of the toprail for scaffolds manufactured and placed in service before January 1, 2000 can be between 36 inches (0.9 meters) and 45 inches (1.2 meters).
Crossbracing — When the crosspoint of crossbracing is used as a toprail, it must be between 38 inches (0.97 m) and 48 inches (1.3 meters) above the work platform.
Midrails — Midrails must be installed approximately halfway between the toprail and the platform surface. When a crosspoint of crossbracing is used as a midrail, it must be between 20 inches (0.5 meters) and 30 inches (0.8 m) above the work platform.
Footings — Support scaffold footings shall be level and capable of supporting the loaded scaffold. The legs, poles, frames, and uprights shall bear on base plates and mud sills.
Platforms — Supported scaffold platforms shall be fully planked or decked.
Guying ties, and braces — Supported scaffolds with a height-to-base of more than 4:1 shall be restained from tipping by guying, tying, bracing, or the equivalent.
Capacity — Scaffolds and scaffold compponents must support at least 4 times the maximum intended load. Suspension scaffold rigging must at least 6 times the intended load.
Training — Employers must train each employee who works on a scaffold on the hazards and the procedures to control the hazards.
Inspections — Before each work shift and after any occurrence that could affect the structural integrity, a competent person must inspect the scaffold and scaffold components for visible defects.
Erecting and Dismantling — When erecting and dismantling supported scaffolds, a competent person2 must determine the feasibility of providing a safe means of access and fall protection for these operations.
When is a competent person required for scaffolding?
OSHA’s scaffolding standard defines a competent person as “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions, which are unsanitary, hazardous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.”
The standard requires a competent person to perform the following duties under these circumstances:
When is a qualified person required for scaffolding?
The standard defines a qualified person as “one who — by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience — has successfully demonstrated his/her ability to solve or resolve problems related to the subject matter, the work, or the project.”
The qualified person must perform the following duties in these circumstances:
When is an engineer required?
The standard requires a registered professional engineer to perform the following duties in these circumstances:
What other standards apply to scaffolds?
29 CFR contains other standards that apply to construction work such as the responsibility to initiate and maintain programs; exposures to dusts and chemicals; hand and power tools; electrical; personal fall arrest systems; and ladders.
THINK – SAFETY IT IS EVERYONE’S JOB.
Safety is the state of being free from danger, the case of being protected from harm or other unwelcome outcomes. Safety can also refer to the oversight or management of recognized hazards to achieve an acceptable level of risk. Erection Specialists, Inc. while keeping abreast of the latest changes in OSHA rules for construction and state guidelines places controls in the field to bring about a safe working environment.
Thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection.
Selecting PPE for the Workplace
Personal protective equipment (PPE) for the eyes and face is designed to prevent or lessen the severity of injuries to workers. The employer must assess the workplace and determine if hazards that necessitate the use of eye and face protection are present or are likely to be present before assigning PPE to workers. [29 CFR 1910.132(d)]
A hazard assessment should determine the risk of exposure to eye and face hazards, including those which may be encountered in an emergency. Employers should be aware of the possibility of multiple and simultaneous hazard exposures and be prepared to protect against the highest level of each hazard. [29 CFR 1910 Subpart I App B]
Examples of Hazard
Common Related Tasks
Flying objects such as large chips, fragments, particles, sand, and dirt
Chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, wood working, sawing, drilling, chiseling, powered fastening, riveting, and sanding
Anything emitting extreme heat
Furnace operations, pouring, casting, hot dipping, and welding
Splash, fumes, vapors, and irritating mists
Acid and chemical handling, degreasing, plating, and working with blood
Woodworking, buffing, and general dusty conditions
Radiant energy, glare, and intense light
Welding, torch-cutting, brazing, soldering, and laser work