Fatal Four in Construction: Struck By and Caught In/Between

Continuing our quest to eliminate the Fatal Four hazards in the construction industry, we have a new video covering struck by and caught in/between hazards.

According to OSHA, in 2015 struck by and caught in/between hazards accounted for 9.6% and 8.6%, respectively, of all fatal construction incidents.

SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters covered Electrocutions last week. Today Mr. Walters, formerly the Regional Administrator of OSHA Region V, tackles two related hazards in struck by and caught in/between.

Check out our video below and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss a video from us.


NIOSH updates ergonomics guide

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has updated its 20-year-old guide to ergonomics to reflect a stronger emphasis on the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).

Though the 1997 primer “Elements of Ergonomic Program” remains an active document/reference guide for NIOSH, a new partner webpage increases the focus on WMSDs and the necessary steps employers and workers should take to prevent them and other injuries related to ergonomics.

In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 31 percent, or 356,910 cases, of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were caused by musculoskeletal disorders. Of those WMSDs, the median time away from work was 12 days for each affected employee. When compared to the median time away from work from other work-related injuries, which is recorded as 8 days, it is clear that poor ergonomics training and WMSDs cost businesses more than other injuries.

NIOSH’s strengthened ergonomics webpage offers a six-step program designed to help employers identify, implement, evaluate, and maintain ways to better protect workers against WMSDs.

In our July video series, “Safety Hurdles in Health Care,” one of the episodes focused on strains, sprains and other WMSDs often suffered by health care workers. Given the physicality involved in their jobs, workers in hospitals, assisted living facilities and other health care workplaces often face a greater risk of WMSDs. Check out our safety video below.

Ergonomics also comes into play with office workers. Here’s a Safety Minute Update video on 5 tips for better ergonomic posture at the office! Don’t forget to get up, stretch, and walk around during the day. Don’t sit behind a desk for 8 hours straight!

For ergonomics training and all other occupational safety and health needs, contact the safety experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729.

OSHA electronic reporting to be accepted starting August 1

Starting August 1, 2017, companies eager to get a jumpstart on OSHA’s electronic reporting requirements can submit their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A through the administration’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA) webpage.

In June 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notified the business community that it was extending the deadline for submitting the electronic records to December 1, 2017, “to allow affected entities sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system, and to provide the new administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements prior to their implementation.”

In 2016, OSHA–under the previous administration–implemented a new final rule requiring some employers to electronically send injury and illness data directly to the agency, which would be publicly posted on OSHA’s website.

“Since high injury rates are a sign of poor management, no employer wants to be seen publicly as operating a dangerous workplace,” former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said in a news release. “Our new reporting requirements will ‘nudge’ employers to prevent worker injuries and illnesses to demonstrate to investors, job seekers, customers and the public that they operate safe and well-managed facilities. Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources at establishments where workers are at greatest risk, and enable ‘big data’ researchers to apply their skills to making workplaces safer.”

According to OSHA’s press release announcing the August 1 online availability date, the data submission process involves four steps:

  1. Creating an establishment;
  2. adding 300A summary data;
  3. submitting data to OSHA; and
  4. reviewing the confirmation email.

The secure ITA webpage gives employers three options for data submission:

  1. Users will be able to manually enter data into a web form.
  2. Users will have the ability to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time.
  3. Users with automated recordkeeping systems to transmit data electronically via an application programming interface.

Visit the ITA webpage for information on reporting requirements, FAQs, and assistance with completing the form.

More Beryllium Rule Changes Proposed by OSHA

Technicians examine a James Webb Space Telescope mirror, which is made out of beryllium

On June 23 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced proposed changes to the updated beryllium standard, which has already been delayed twice in recent months. OSHA is now seeking public input on the proposal.

The changes would only impact the construction and shipyard industries, leaving general industry unchanged. Additionally, OSHA announced that it would not enforce the Jan. 9, 2017, final rule while these new changes are being considered.

The permissible exposure limit of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air and short-term exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air would stay the same, but rules requiring certain types of personal protective equipment and medical monitoring of employees would be rolled back, according to an OSHA news release.

The proposed changes are set to be published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2017. OSHA is seeking comments from the public and other interested parties during the 60-day comment period that follows the publication. Information about how to comment on the proposal can be found here.

The full list of standards that OSHA is seeking comment on include:

  • Ventilation standard in construction (1926.57)
  • Criteria for personal protective equipment standard in construction (1926.95)
  • Mechanical paint removers standard in shipyards (1915.34)
  • Ventilation and protection in welding, cutting and heating in shipyards (1915.51)
  • Hand and body protection standard in shipyards (1915.157)
  • Confined and enclosed spaces standards in shipyards (Part 1915 Subpart B)
  • Ventilation standard in general industry for exhaust ventilation and housekeeping (1910.94(a)(4), (a)(7))1
  • Respiratory Protection standard in general industry (1910.134)1,2
  • Hazard communication standard in general industry (1910.1200)1,2

According to OSHA, beryllium is a lightweight but strong metal used in many industries, including aerospace, medical, electronics, defense, and telecommunications. Workers that perform abrasive blasting in construction and shipyards may also be exposed to beryllium. But beryllium is highly toxic, and workers who inhale it are at a higher risk of developing chronic beryllium disease or lung cancer. An estimated 100 people die from chronic beryllium disease each year.

Image source: NASA

Reviews from the Road: Episode 5

SCT’s traveling Occupational Safety and Health Technicians in another episode of “Reviews from the Road,” a weekly web series featuring our safety techs at different project sites across the country.

SCT’s safety technicians can spend more than 80 percent of their time traveling from job to job, providing safety project management services to clients. Most of our technicians spend their time on glass furnace demolition and rebuild projects, many of which last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months or longer.

In the third episode of “Reviews from the Road” we introduce you to Tom Boyd who is on the job in Waterville, Ohio.

Reviews from the Road: Episode 3

It’s time to go back on the road with SCT’s traveling Occupational Safety and Health Technicians in another episode of “Reviews from the Road,” a weekly web series featuring our safety techs at different project sites across the country.

SCT’s safety technicians spend upwards of 80 percent of their time traveling from job to job, providing safety project management services to clients. Most of our technicians spend their time on glass furnace demolition and rebuild projects, many of which last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months or longer.

In the third episode of “Reviews from the Road” we introduce you to Mike Baker who is on the job in DeWitt, Iowa.

Silica enforcement delayed until September

Enforcement of OSHA’s new final rule on crystalline silica has been pushed back until September 23, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced on April 6.

The cause for the enforcement delay is so that additional outreach, educational materials and guidance can be provided to employers. OSHA “determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique natures of the requirements in the construction standard,” according to an OSHA press release.

The enforcement date was originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017.

We’ve talked about the new silica standard before, when it was first announced and when OSHA released its guide for the updated silica standard.

Respirable crystalline silica is a hazardous substance that workers, especially those in the construction industry, face exposure to on a regular basis. Exposure to silica, coupled with lack of safety measures, can lead to lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease.

OSHA’s new final rule, which reduced the permissible exposure limit and increased safety requirements, is estimated to save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, according to OSHA.

SCT has training programs in place to help employers update and refresh their silica safety policies. While enforcement may be delayed, the new final rule went into effect on June 23, 2016.

Protect workers today and call the safety experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729.

Beryllium Rule Delayed Again

After being pushed back a few weeks ago, the effective date for a new beryllium rule may be delayed again following a call for further review.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a “proposed delay” of the Occupational Exposure to Beryllium rule on March 1. The rule’s effective date would be pushed back from March 21, 2017, to May 20, 2017.

The delay will allow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to comply with a presidential directive “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.” OSHA, while reviewing the beryllium rule, decided it needed more time to fully review the regulation, so it has proposed this additional delay.

The delay of the effective date will also not affect the compliance dates of the beryllium rule, according to OSHA. The public can submit comments about the proposed delay at www.regulations.gov or to the OSHA Docket Office (Docket No. OSHA-H005C-2006-0870).

According to OSHA, beryllium is a lightweight but strong metal used in many industries, including aerospace, medical, electronics, defense, and telecommunications. But beryllium is highly toxic, and workers who inhale it are at a higher risk of developing chronic beryllium disease or lung cancer.

The new beryllium rule, which has standards for construction, general industry, and shipyards, will decrease the permissible exposure limit of beryllium to an average of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air over 8 hours. A new short-term exposure limit was established at 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air over a 15-minute sampling period.

Once the new regulations are fully implemented, OSHA estimates  that 94 lives will be saved each year and 46 new cases of chronic beryllium disease will be prevented. The rule will also provide an estimated $560.9 million in annual net benefits. About 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium on the job.

Watch our blog and social media channels to stay updated on any new developments for the beryllium rule.

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Former Regional Administrator for OSHA takes job with SCT

Middleburg Heights, Ohio – Safety Controls Technology (SCT), one of the nation’s premier occupational safety and health providers, is expanding its footprint to the Windy City with the hiring of a former Regional Administrator for OSHA.

Nick Walters, CHST

Nick Walters will serve as Vice President of Safety Engineering Services for SCT. In that role, he will join a staff of professionals providing high level occupational safety and health expert witness services. Mr. Walters will be based in Chicago, further establishing SCT’s safety presence across the country and, in particular, the Midwest.

“Nick brings a whole new dimension to SCT’s expert witness service,” said Joe Ventura, General Manager at SCT. “His years of service at OSHA as a Regional Administrator provides SCT with insight into the agency that will benefit our clients directly.”

In the last 25 years Mr. Walters worked his way up the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hierarchy from a Compliance Officer to one of 10 Regional Administrators in the nation. Being a first-hand witness to tragedies that resulted in fatalities and serious injuries, and talking with the family members left behind after a failure of safety, engrained in him the importance of safety and health in the workplace.

Mr. Walters joins a former OSHA colleague, Rob Medlock, at SCT. Mr. Medlock, SCT’s Senior Vice President, served as the OSHA Area Director for the Cleveland Office for 20 years before joining SCT in 2011.

“In my role with OSHA as the Region Administrator in Chicago, I had the privilege of working closely with Joe Ventura and Rob Medlock from SCT on a number of projects,” Mr. Walters said. “I chose SCT because I believe that they are engaged in the safety and health field for all of the right reasons.

“I have always been impressed with their high level of professionalism and the quality of the work that they perform. At the end of the day, I want to work with people that I can trust – people that I know are doing everything they can to promote safety and health in the workplace.”

The addition of Mr. Walters caps a year of exceptional growth for SCT. Named one of 2016’s fastest growing companies in Northeast Ohio by Weatherhead 100, SCT recently saw its Occupational Health division nearly double with the acquisition of Amherst-based safety company Amerisafe. Walters, who has a nationally respected reputation in safety and health and who is a former Regional Administrator for OSHA, is a significant addition to SCT’s staff.

Going into 2017, Mr. Walters said one of the greatest challenges facing private business in the arena of occupational safety and health is the transient nature of the workforce. While with OSHA he saw first-hand how employers use temporary recruiting agencies to fulfill staffing needs.

“Variations in production and seasonal demands make these temporary employment situations an economical option for many employers,” Mr. Walters said. “The challenge for companies is ensuring that they have the systems in place to properly train an influx of new workers and provide them with the necessary tools to perform their jobs in a safe manner.

“Unfortunately, I have seen numerous cases where this did not happen and workers were killed or severely injured in the first day, week, or month on the job.”

SCT is excited to have Nick Walters joining the team. With his help, SCT will continue to expand its services and provide the best comprehensive occupational safety and health services to companies and organizations across the United States. For more information please contact SCT Marketing Manager Elizabeth Lundblad at 440-449-6000 or elundblad@sct.us.com. View Nick Walters’ biography on SCT’s Our Team page.

SCT celebrates success at Weatherhead 100 Awards

CLEVELAND, OHIO — President Gail Grueser was excited about SCT’s placement at 71 in the Weatherhead 100 for 2016, but she was also determined to work harder to increase her company’s standing in the future.

“It says something great about our area that there are 70 companies who had amazing growth last year when we had such a great year as well,” she said after celebrating with Vice Presidents Rob Medlock and Dragan Savic, who attended the event as well.

The Weatherhead 100 Awards Ceremony was celebrated on Thursday, December 1, 2016. The event was emceed by Sara Shookman from WKYC in Cleveland.

Also joining Ms. Grueser was Cost Reduction Specialist Mary Kay Cyngier, Marketing Manager Elizabeth Lundblad, and Associate Marketing Professional Jenna BenDaali.

The Weatherhead 100 List, compiled by representatives from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, is composed of the 100 fastest-growing companies in Northeast Ohio based on revenue from 2011 to 2015. All 100 winners must have had a minimum of $100,000 in sales in 2011, a minimum of 16 full-time employees, and more than $1,000,000 in sales in 2015.


To qualify for such an award is a tribute to SCT’s hard-working employees. Safety is a niche industry, and finding qualified safety professionals hasn’t always been the easiest task. But the fact that SCT is growing as quickly as it has in the past few years proves employers are starting to realize the benefits of having a working safety culture, Ms. Grueser added. In the past two years, SCT has added about 10 employees, bringing the total staff to 40.

It says something about our area that there are 70 companies who had amazing growth last year when we had such a great year as well. — Gail Grueser, president of SCT

In 2016 SCT has continued its growth and brought on additional employees and clients with its acquisition of Amherst-based safety company Amerisafe late in the year. While expanding its footprint locally, SCT continues its growth with clients across the United States, and is currently prospecting international jobs.

“Safety is about making sure employees can leave at the end of the day in the same condition that they came to work,” Ms. Grueser told a reporter for Community Leader Magazine, a sister publication to Cleveland Magazine, for a special Weatherhead 100 edition.

In the article, which is available to read or download below, Ms. Grueser credits SCT’s outstanding staff for making the company a success. When clients embrace a safe workplace, they understand that as their dedicated safety provider a client can call its SCT representative with questions at any time.

“We’ll be doing dinner, or we’ll be at a game or socializing or networking in the evening, [and] they’ll take a phone call from a client, go sit down and talk to them for a good hour, help them through what they need to help them through,” Ms. Grueser said in the article.

As 2016 winds down, Ms. Grueser and the rest of SCT are preparing for an even bigger 2017. In late November SCT launched SCT Supply, a new venture that adds safety supplies to SCT’s growing collection of services. Incorporating physical product sales means clients can order the safety supplies they need on job sites directly from SCT, making SCT Northeast Ohio’s premier one stop safety shop.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

For all safety needs, from training and drug testing to safety products, contact SCT at 1-800-204-1729.