June is National Safety Month

Each June, the National Safety Council and other organizations recognize National Safety Month. It’s a chance to take extra time and care to prevent injuries on the job, at home, and on the road.

This year’s theme of “No One Gets Hurt” intends to demonstrate that just making small changes, like taking a First Aid class or cleaning up a spill at work, can significantly decrease injury risks.

According to the NSC, preventable deaths – also called accidents – are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer.

One American dies from a preventable incident every three minutes.

Each of the four weeks of June focus on a different aspect of safety.

Week 1: Emergency Preparedness

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that businesses have a written Emergency Action Plan. Whether it’s a fire, tornado, active shooter, or any other type of emergency situation, employees should be properly educated and trained on what to do. Evacuation routes and basic First Aid training are great places to start when creating your Emergency Action Plan.

Week 2: Wellness

One of the most common reasons why a worker’s overall wellness declines is a lack of sleep, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Sleep deprivation is linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, can increase the likelihood of on-the-job injuries, and results in 1.2 million lost work days in the U.S, per NIOSH. 

Week 3: Falls

Fall protection has topped OSHA’s list of most frequently cited violations for years. For fiscal year 2017, the fall protection general requirements standard was violated 6,072 times, almost 2,000 times more than any other standard.

Falls are the leading cause of worker deaths in the construction industry, and the highest number of nonfatal fall injuries take place in the health services and retail industries.

Check out our Focus on Fall Protection video series below for some easy to follow advice about preventing falls at your workplace.

Week 4: Driving

Motor vehicle crashes are the Number 1 cause of work-related deaths in the United States. A few simple steps can drastically decrease your chances of being killed in a car crash.

  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Don’t drive if you are tired.
  • Focus only on driving. A text or phone call can wait!
  • Prepare for potential hazards along your route, including road construction and inclement weather.

 

National Safety Month is the perfect time to create or upgrade your company’s safety program! Contact our team of experts today at 1-800-204-1729 or use the contact form below.








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ABCs of Safety: L is for Ladders

During this week’s National Safety Stand-Down, we have a timely edition of the ABCs of Safety video series.

Ladders are one of the most commonly used tools in various workplaces, but many people still tend to use them in dangerous ways. Check out our video below to learn some of the most common ladder mistakes that can lead to falls, injuries, or even death.

Need to spruce up your company’s OSHA safety compliance plan? Contact our workplace safety experts today at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.








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It’s National Safety Stand-Down Week!

From May 7 through 11, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is recognizing the 5th annual National Safety Stand-Down, an event that encourages employers to take time special time out to recognize fall hazards at the workplace.

Year in and year out, falls from elevation are a leading cause of construction fatalities, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction deaths in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, lack of fall protection annually tops OSHA’s list of the most cited safety violations.

There are no specific requirements for what needs to be done to participate in the Stand-Down. Employers can offer additional training, a toolbox talk, extra equipment inspections, or safety demonstrations.

If you’re at a loss of what to do for your Stand-Down, how about watching SCT’s Focus on Fall Protection video series? It features four videos that each drill into a different topic relating to fall protection. Check out the YouTube Playlist below.

OSHA also offers a number of free resources at its Safety Stand-Down website including a fall hazards quiz,  downloadable posters, hardhat stickers, infographics, and personalized certificates of participation. Many of the resources are offered in both English and Spanish.

Aside from OSHA, other participating organizations include NIOSH; the Center for Construction Research and Training; the National Occupational Research Agenda; OSHA-approved state plans; the American Society of Safety Engineers; and the American Society of Safety Engineers, among others.

OSHA offers free resources for National Safety Stand Down

Two weeks ago we told you about the National Safety Stand Down happening May 7-11, 2018, and gave you a few links to our fall protection related videos for some Tool Box Talk inspiration. This week we’re bringing you some free OSHA resources that dropped online for employers to use while hosting their own stand down events.

The purpose of the National Safety Stand Down initiative is to reduce the occurrences of falls in the construction industry. Falls from elevation are one of the Fatal Four, which are the top causes of death among construction workers. The Fatal Four include: falls, caught in/between, struck by object, and electrocution.

According to OSHA, eliminating the fatal four would save 631 workers’ lives each year. From the most recent data available (calendar year 2016), the Fatal Four break down looks like this:

  • Falls – 384 out of 991 total deaths in construction (38.7%)
  • Struck by Object – 93 deaths (9.4%)
  • Electrocutions – 82 deaths (8.3%)
  • Caught in/between – 72 deaths (7.3%)

OSHA and other health agencies, like NIOSH, have developed resources for employers to use while hosting their own National Safety Stand Down events at their job sites. Resources featured on the official website include guidance on ladder safety and scaffolding, as well as Tool Box Talk ideas and videos. Many of the resources provided by OSHA are available in both English and Spanish.

 

National Safety Stand-Down set for May 7-11, 2018

This year’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is set for May 7-11, 2018.

The Safety Stand-Down is an annual effort where the workplace safety industry comes together to focus on preventing falls, which account for more than a third of construction fatalities and are the leading cause of death among construction workers, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Fall protection also routinely tops OSHA’s list of the Top 10 Most Cited Violations. 

Anyone who wants to prevent fall hazards in the workplace is encouraged to participate in the Stand-Down and there are no requirements for what occurs at a Stand-Down. It can be as simple as hosting a safety toolbox talk, taking extra time to inspect safety equipment, or anything that meets the specific needs at your workplace.

If you need to brush up on your fall protection knowledge, watch our Focus on Fall Protection series below. Feel free to use the videos as a part of your own National Safety Stand-Down event!

ABCs of Safety: F is for Fall Protection

Fall protection has topped OSHA’s list of most cited violations for a number of years, and it does not seem like that will change any time soon.

Watch our latest edition of the ABCs of Safety to learn how to eliminate one of the most dangerous hazards from your workplace.

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 Top 10 Violations for 2017 Released

At last week’s National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, the NSC released the preliminary OSHA Top 10 Violations list for the 2017 fiscal year.  The data includes violations through Sept. 4.

Once again, general fall protection requirements topped the list with more than 6,000 citations, almost 2,000 more than second-place hazard communication. The top five remained unchanged from 2016, with ladders moving up to sixth and powered industrial trucks falling to one spot to seventh.

Fall protection training is a new entry in the 2017 list, taking 9th place with 1,523 citations. General electrical requirements fell out of the top 10.

The full list according to the NSC:

  • Fall Protection; General Requirements (1926.501) – 6,072
  • Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 4,176
  • Scaffolding (1926.451) – 3,288
  • Respiratory Protection (1910.134) –  3,097
  • Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) –  2,877
  • Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,241
  • Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,162
  • Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 1,933
  • Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) – 1,523
  • Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 1,405

“The OSHA Top 10 is more than just a list, it is a blueprint for keeping workers safe,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman in a news release. “When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.”

The finalized data is set to be released in December 2017.

At SCT, we can help your company identify and eliminate all of these hazards. Whether it’s through on-site workplace audits, complete safety program development, or refresher training for employees and supervisors, our team of experts will help you reach your safety goals.

Contact us today online or call us at 1-800-204-1729.

While you’re here, check out our video below that covers OSHA’s Top 10 Citations from FY2016. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel or Like us on Facebook so you never miss a new video from us.

Fatal Four in Construction: Falls

This week we’re wrapping up our look at the Fatal Four in Construction with a new video about falls.

According to OSHA, falls accounted for 364 deaths in construction in 2015, which was more than all of the other Fatal Four (electrocutions, struck by object, and caught in between) combined.

In the video below, SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters covers many of the common hazards that can result in falls, including ladders and unguarded floor openings.

If you missed Mr. Walters, former Regional Administrator of OSHA’s largest region based in Chicago, in our previous videos covering electrocutions and struck by/caught in between, you can watch all of our Fatal Four videos right here.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss a video from us.