SCT Adds Occupational Safety and Health Intern

SCT is excited to announce the addition of an Occupational Safety and Health Intern. Mike Milyo, 20, from Mayfield, OH wanted to apply what he has learned in college so far and found SCT. Mike, who just completed his sophomore year at Slippery Rock University, heard that SCT was great company that had experience in every aspect of safety.

He is fascinated by both the construction and general industry sides of safety and health. Mike recalls safety always being the direction he wanted to go in his career. “I was always interested in construction, but I wanted to do something different than be a laborer.”

Mike is grateful to be working alongside some of the best minds in the safety industry at SCT. “The staff has been friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to help,” he said. He’s been able to take part in multiple safety audits and write safety reports.

Even though he is receiving his education across enemy lines in Pennsylvania, Mike is still a devout Cleveland Browns fan. In his free time, he loves to spend time with family and friends and go fishing.

Mike hopes his time with SCT helps him jump start his career. “I plan on obtaining as much knowledge and skills as I can to become a successful safety professional.”

We at SCT are excited to have Mike join us this summer and to help him learn all he can about the occupational safety and health industry.

Safety Technician Jobs to Grow Faster than National Average

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights that the number of safety inspection jobs are set to grow more quickly than the national average.

The average rate of employment growth for all jobs in the U.S. is projected to be 7.4 percent between 2016 and 2026. Two of the occupations with the biggest projected growth are occupational safety and health technicians at 10.1 percent, and occupational health and safety specialists at 8.1 percent.

Both positions also have median annual wage well above the national median annual wage for all jobs.

According to BLS, safety specialists and technicians can inspect and evaluate workplaces, equipment and work practices to ensure that all safety standards and regulations are followed.

Why are safety jobs set to grow?

With construction industry output set to increase by 2.7 percent annually from 2016 to 2026, it makes sense that the safety occupations that are tied so closely with construction projects would grow as well. Construction workers need to remain protected, and some safety inspectors also make sure that their projects are adhering to building codes.

“Along similar lines, the need for safe workplaces—particularly for industries in which accidents are frequent—means that there will be demand for occupations that inspect workplaces, including occupational health and safety specialists and technicians. Maintaining high safety standards in our workspaces means that these inspectors are an integral part of the workplace, a kind of quality assurance to keep worksites functioning at an optimum safety level. In addition to compliance, companies that conduct their own internal regular inspections can lead to fewer workplace injuries and greater employee morale,” according to the BLS report.

SCT Safety Academy to Train Next Generation

Ready to jump into a career you’ll love? The SCT Safety Academy is the perfect opportunity to jumpstart your career in the world of occupational safety and health.

At the SCT Safety Academy, you can earn multiple certificates focused on OSHA’s Construction Standards, and graduate with the tools to identify and abate occupational safety and health hazards on construction sites. All for FREE!

Students will receive Course Certificates in the following subject areas:

  • Fall Prevention and Protection
  • CPR/First Aid/AED
  • Excavation & Trenching
  • Forklift Operations
  • BobCat Operations
  • Aerial Lift Operations
  • Scissor Lift Operations
  • Confined Space
  • Industrial Hygiene Sampling for Particulates
  • Lock Out/Tag Out
  • OSHA 30 Hour Certification in the Construction Industry

We are accepting applications until May 15, 2019. Apply today! 

It’s National Work Zone Awareness Week

While those orange barrels may be frustrating during rush hour, take a moment during National Work Zone Awareness Week to consider those people working in those potentially dangerous areas. From April 8-12, this year’s theme is “Drive Like You Work Here.”

In 2017, there were 710 fatal crashes in work zones, resulting in 799 fatalities. Of those deaths, 132 were roadway workers, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Plus, in 2016, there were 158,000 work zone crashes that resulted in 61,000 injuries.

On average, in 2015 a work zone crash occurred once every 5.4 minutes, and every week 12 work zone crashes resulted in at least one fatality.

Source: Federal Highway Administration

So what can you do to help make work zones safer?

On Wednesday, April 10, everyone is encouraged to wear orange on Go Orange Day to help raise awareness for work zone safety. If you post on social media, be sure to use the hashtags #WorkZoneSafety #NWZAW #OurRoads.

When you’re out on the road, remember these tips from the Federal Highway Administration:

  • Plan ahead. Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.
  • Obey road crews and signs. When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
  • Slow down. Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.
  • Move over. Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
  • Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone.
  • Watch for sudden stoppages. In 2017, 25 percent of fatal work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions.
  • Watch for large vehicles. Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down. In 2017, 50 percent of fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks or buses occurred on rural roadways. Between 2013 and 2017, fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks increased by 43 percent.

 

Crane Operator Final Rule Issued by OSHA

OSHA has released the final rule that clarifies certification requirements for crane operators on Nov. 7, 2018. The final rule also maintains the employer’s duty to ensure that crane operators can safely operate the equipment.

The final rule, which was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 9, 2018, will require that employers train operators as needed to perform assigned crane activities, evaluate the operators, and then document successful completion of the evaluations. If employers completed evaluations before Dec. 9, 2018, they will not have to reevaluate the operators, but will only have to document that the evaluations occurred.

Crane operators must be certified based on the crane’s type and capacity, or the type only, and must receive ongoing training for new equipment. The capacity and type distinction revises a 2010 crane operator requirement that certifications must specify the rated lifting capacity of the cranes that the operator is certified on.

While testing organizations are not required to issue certifications distinguished by rated capacities, they are permitted to do so, and employers may accept them or continue to use certifications based on crane type alone.

OSHA estimates that 117,130 crane operators will be impacted by the final rule. The estimated cost to the industry will be $1.481 million for the performance of operator competency evaluations, $62,000 for documenting those evaluations, and $94,000 for any additional training needed for operators, bringing the total annual cost of compliance to $1.637 million.

But at the same time, OSHA does anticipate the rule will save money for employers. Due to fewer operators needing to get an additional certification, OSHA expects a “large one-time cost savings” of more than $25 million. An additional annual saving of $426,000 is also expected as certifications for operators moving to a higher capacity would no longer be needed.

Additionally, because most employers are already complying with many of the training and evaluation requirements, OSHA concluded that, on average, the impact of costs on employers will be low.

Most portions of the crane operator final rule will become effective on Dec. 10, 2018. Evaluation and documentation requirements will become effective on Feb. 7, 2019.

National Protect Your Hearing Month is October 2018

Can you hear me now? Hopefully you can, because October is National Protect Your Hearing Month.

But if you’re one of the 22 million workers exposed annually to hazardous noise levels at work, it might be a struggle. According to the Centers for Disease Control, occupational hearing loss is the most common workplace injury in the U.S.

On top of the human toll of injured workers, occupational hearing loss also costs employers millions of dollars every year. According to OSHA, U.S. businesses pay out about $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers from noise. Another estimated $242 million is spent annually on workers’ compensation for hearing loss injuries.

How loud is too loud?

If noise levels reach 85 decibels, it can damage your hearing after repeated exposure of longer than eight hours. What is 85 decibels? It’s loud enough that you must raise your voice to be heard by someone an arm’s length away. Many sounds reach this level, including lawn mowers, vacuums, or using earbuds with the volume level at about 70 percent.

Noise at 95 decibels (when you have to shout to be heard at arm’s length) can be a risk to your hearing in less than an hour.  Bulldozers, sirens, chain saws, and large sporting events are louder than 95 decibels.

Damaged hearing can make it difficult or impossible to hear high-pitch frequencies, and also make it hard to communicate with others. Researchers are also exploring if loud noise at work can have additional health effects, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Source: CDC

How to Protect Workers

Most people have seen or used ear plugs and ear muffs, but those are not the only – or most effective – ways to protect the hearing of workers.

Engineering controls involve modifying or replacing equipment. Examples include:

  • using low-noise tools and machinery
  • maintaining and lubricating machinery and equipment
  • placing a barrier like a curtain or a sound wall between the noise source and the employee
  • enclosing or isolating the noise source

Administrative controls, which are changes in the workplace or schedule that reduce worker exposure to noise, can also be highly effective. These include:

  • operating noisy machines when fewer workers are present
  • limiting the amount of time a worker is exposed to the hazard
  • providing a quiet rest area for workers to remove themselves from the noise
  • move employees farther from the noise source; every doubling of distance between the worker and the noise source decreases the exposure by six decibels

National Protect Your Hearing Month is the perfect time to ensure your hearing conservation program is all it can be. Contact the OSHA Workplace Safety Experts at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.








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Safe and Sound Week 2018: How to Succeed

From August 13 through 19, it’s Safe and Sound Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces.

Spearheaded by OSHA, Safe and Sound Week encourages any business that cares about the health and safety of its employees to participate.

OSHA has outlined a simple three-step plan to participate in Safe and Sound Week:

  • Select your activities
  • Plan and promote your events
  • Recognize your participation

You should always make time for safety, but if you are in a hurry, check out our video that will help you identify some common hazards during Safe and Sound Week.

Be sure to check out our complete Safety Video Library on our website or on our YouTube Channel. Feel free to use our videos as part of your regular Toolbox Talks!

Ready to take the your safety program to the next level? Contact the OSHA Experts at SCT today!








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CPWR Releases Comprehensive Construction Statistics

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) released a new edition of its comprehensive The Construction Chart Book – The U.S. Construction Industry and Its Workers. 

If you are seeking a specific construction industry statistic, chances are you can find it in the book. It features 100-plus pages of charts, graphs and explanations of dozens of industry topics, including economics, demographics, and safety.

Silica

Silica can be found in numerous common construction site materials, like soil, sand, concrete, masonry, rock and granite. As we have discussed extensively on our blog, exposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause silicosis, lung cancer or kidney disease. Construction workers make up about 2 million of the 2.3 million total workers that are exposed to silica hazards.

OSHA’s recently updated silica standard sets the permissible exposure limit (PEL) at 50 micrograms per cubic meter over an eight-hour day. According to CPWR, about 15 percent of construction workers are exposed at or above the PEL.

Source: CPWR

Injury and Fatality Rates

Among selected industrial nations, the United States had the third highest rate of construction fatalities with 9.7 per 100,000 full-time workers. Only Belgium (10.5) and Switzerland (24.6) had higher fatality rates in 2013. The U.S. non-fatal injury rate was much better compared to other countries. At 1.5 per 100 workers, it was the third best rate. The CPWR though does caution drawing too strong of a conclusion due to differences in reporting standards among different countries.

Returning to just the U.S.,  985 construction workers were killed on the job in 2015, which was 20 percent of the total workplace fatalities in the country. Construction’s fatality rate has also risen each year since 2011, with 9.9 deaths per 100,000 full time workers in 2015. This was rate was nearly three times higher than the average of all industries.

Injury Causes

Mirroring the Top 10 Cited OSHA Violations, falls to the same or lower level caused the most fatalities in the construction industry and was the second leading cause of nonfatal injuries. Almost 22% of these fatal falls occur at a height of more than 30 feet, with roofs and ladders as the most common sources of all fatal falls.

Contact with objects caused the most nonfatal injuries.

Want to help you and your employees avoid becoming a statistic? Register for our OSHA 30 Hour Construction course from March 26-29, 2018. Contact SCT Sales Representative Terri Cantrell at TCantrell@sct.us.com or 440-449-6000, or fill out the contact form below!








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Extent of falls in construction revealed by new database

Researchers with the Center for Construction Research and Training (also known as the CPWR) used a new database to find that 42 percent of all construction fatalities involved falls.

Using NIOSH data, the researchers created the Construction FACE Database. FACE stands for Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation. This database helped researchers discover a number of revealing statistics about injuries in the construction industry, according to Safety and Health Magazine. 

From 1982 to 2015, researchers found 768 fatality reports in the construction industry. Of those, 325 (42 percent) involved falls. Moreover, 54 percent of workers killed had no access to a personal fall arrest system, and 23 percent did have access to such a system but did not use it.

Nearly a third of the falls were from 30 feet or higher, and 20 percent of the fatal incidents occurred during the victims’ first two months on the job.

Fall protection routinely tops OSHA’s list of most cited violations, including 2017. Plus, fall protection training requirements was the 9th most cited violations. You can watch our video covering the entire Top 10 list below.

The full study can be viewed here in the Journal of Safety Research, but it does require account to view.

OSHA’s Electronic Reporting Deadline Looms

The extended deadline for affected employers for OSHA’s electronic reporting system is coming up on Friday, December 15, 2017.

Who needs to electronically report?

Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and business with 20 to 249 employees in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses. Keep in mind that certain states have OSHA-approved State Plans that have not, as of yet, adopted the requirement to submit electronic OSHA injury and illness reports. Businesses in these states — California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming — are not currently required to submit electronic data to OSHA through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA).

What is the ITA’s purpose?

The ITA’s intent is to improve the overall tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses, and provide better recordkeeping management to affected establishments. According to a press release, OSHA is currently reviewing other provisions of the new final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, and will published proposed reconsiderations or revisions to portions of its rule in 2018.

Check out our video OSHA’s Electronic Reporting and what it means for your business:

For all your occupational safety and health needs contact the experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729 or email us using the contact form below!








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Crane Operator Certification Compliance Required by November 2018

Construction employers now officially have one more year to comply with a crane operator certification requirement.

A few months back, we wrote about the rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when it was proposed in early September 2017. OSHA accepted public comment on the proposal throughout the month.

With the new final rule now in effect, employers must comply with the certification requirement by November 10, 2018. Originally, this deadline was scheduled for November 2017.

According to OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks Rule, there are four options for crane operator certification:

  • Certification by an independent testing organization accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization
  • Qualification by an employer’s independently audited program
  • Qualification by the U.S. military
  • Compliance with qualifying state or local licensing requirements

In 2015, cranes were listed as the primary or secondary source in 44 fatal worker injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Cranes and Derricks final rule was issued in August 2010, and then, in response to stakeholder concerns, the separate certification rule was published in September 2014.

OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) recommended delaying enforcement of the certification requirement and extending the employer assessment responsibilities for the same period, according to an OSHA news release.

 The week of January 22, 2018, SCT will host a multi-day crane operator certification course at our office in Middleburg Heights, OH. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible. Contact us at 1-800-204-1729 or use the contact form below.








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