Core Safety Group

Opiod Use in Construction

Construction work can result in painful injures that are sometimes treated with prescription opioids. One in four people prescribed opioids for long-term pain become addicted and opioid-related deaths are on the rise. In 2017 alone, more than 72,000 people died in the U.S from an overdose, over 49,000 of which involved an opioid. Overdose deaths that occur on the jobs are on the rise.

Construction workers have one of the highest rates of strains and sprain injuries due to the physically demanding nature of their work. Use of opioids to manage pain has been a common practice and resulted in high rates of addiction and overdoses.

Construction workers encounter a variety of hazards from the specific work they perform, as well as from work being performed by other workers around them including,

  • equipment hazards,
  • falls from heights,
  • confined spaces,
  • and heavy lifting.

To work safely, they must be mentally alert.

When injures do occur it’s important for employers to work with their occupational clinics to explore other pain management options, rather than the use of prescription opioids.  There are several non-opioids that can be used to manage mild to moderate pain.  Non-drug treatments such as,

  • ice,
  • heat,
  • massage,
  • exercise
  • and physical therapy can be especially useful in treating chronic pain.

To learn more on this topic you can visit the CPWR’s Opioid Resources webpage.

To ensure workplace safety, explore our options for onsite trainings, safety consulting and safety staffing so your employees enjoy their job and stay safe.

2020 OSHA Logs

It’s that time of year when this should be at the top of every company’s to do list. Your OSHA 300A’s should be complete and ready to be posted on February 1st through April 30th. And for companies with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA logs, and establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses, those companies must also upload their 300A information using OSHA’s online injury tracking application. The due date for your online reporting of 2019 information is March 2nd.

Unfortunately, there are still companies that are unfamiliar with the requirements of OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping. If your group needs help to ensure that you’re in compliance with record keeping requirements or would like assistance using OSHA’s online reporting application, Call CORE Safety.

OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations for 2019

Download our 2019 OSHA Violation Poster!

For the ninth consecutive year Fall Protection (General Requirements) is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard. Here is the full list for 2019!

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (7,014)
2. Hazard Communication (4,170)
3. Scaffolding (3,228)
4. Lockout/Tagout (2,975)
5. Respiratory Protection (2,826)
6. Ladders (2,766)
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (2,347)
8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (2,059)
9. Machine Guarding (1,987)
10. PPE – Eye and Face Protection (1,630)

Contact us to learn how we can keep your workplace in compliance with OSHA standards!

OSHA Penalties Adjusting in 2019

OSHA’s civil penalties amounts for violations of workplace safety and health standards will increase in 2019 to adjust for inflation. The adjusted maximum penalty amounts will take effect upon publication in the Federal Register. New penalties for willful and repeat violations will be $132,598 per violation; serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirements are $13,260 per violation; and failure to abate violations are $13,260 per day beyond the abatement date.

For more information click here.

Type of Violation Penalty Previous Penalty
Serious and Non-serious $13,260 per violation $12,934
OSHA Posting Requirements $13,260 per violation $12,934
Willful or Repeated $132,598 per violation $129,336
Failure to Abate $13,260 per day $12,934


For more information about citation and claim defense click here.

Deadline: OSHA’s Form 300A

Employers are reminded of their obligation to post a copy of OSHA’s Form 300A, which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2018.  Each year, from Feb. 1 to April 30, the summary must be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.  Businesses with 10 or fewer employees and those in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping and posting.

Also, establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must submit information from their 2018 Form 300A by March 2, 2019.  OSHA has provided a secure website that offers options for data submission. Visit the OSHA’ Injury Tracking Application (ITA).


OSHA Drug Testing and Safety Incentive Curbs

OSHA recently announced that it is softening a hardline approach adopted during the previous administration restricting the use of post-accident drug testing.

OSHA sent a memo to its regional administrators on October 11th that supplies a more permissive interpretation of its regulation prohibiting employers from discharging or discriminating against employees for reporting a work-related injury.

Previously, the agency had declared that employers could not use “drug testing (or the threat of drug testing) as a form of adverse action against employees who report injuries or illnesses.”

Employers were limited to using drug testing only when there was a “reasonable possibility” that drugs or alcohol contributed to the accident or injury. The earlier OSHA decision had assumed that regardless of employers’ intent, the threat of a drug test would intimidate employees into not reporting accidents.

In this memo, the new OSHA leadership declared that the existing rule will not be interpreted as prohibiting the implementation of post-incident drug testing.

OSHA further declared that as far as it was concerned most instances of workplace drug testing are permissible.

Examples being:

  • Random drug testing.
  • Drug testing unrelated to the reporting of a work-related injury.
  • Drug testing under a state workers’ compensation law.
  • Drug testing under other federal law, such as US DOT. OR,
  • Drug testing to evaluate the root cause of a workplace incident that harmed or could have harmed employees.

If the employer chooses to use drug testing to investigate the incident, the employer should test all employees whose conduct could have contributed to the incident, not just employees who reported injuries.

Follow the link below to our YouTube video to watch our full recap of OSHA’s new memo.

Source from EHS today.

OSHA Emphasizes Trenching & Excavation

OSHA recently updated the National Emphasis Program on preventing trenching and excavation collapses in response to a recent spike in trenching fatalities.

OSHA recently cited a Missouri excavating company for allowing two employees to work in an unprotected trench while installing sewer pipe.

The company now faces proposed penalties of over $189 thousand dollars.

OSHA inspectors determined that the company:

  • failed to use benching, sloping, shoring, or other protective systems to prevent a trench collapse;
  • conduct regular inspections of the jobsite;
  • adequately train workers to recognize and avoid unsafe trench conditions;
  • ensure a safe means for exiting the excavation;
  • and ensure that excavated materials were kept at least 2 feet from the trench edge.

Employers performing excavation work must develop and implement safety procedures to properly protect their employees from cave-ins, and train crews to recognize and evaluate hazards.



If you’re needing guidance on your excavation program don’t hesitate to call us here at CORE Safety.

Click here to download our free Trench & Excavation Safety Poster.

OSHA Prioritizes Trench Safety in 2018

With fatalities from excavation and trenching doubling in 2016, over the previous five years, OSHA is working to raise awareness and provide safety resources as a top priority in 2018.

Download our free Trench Safety Poster.

Fatalities from excavation and trenching doubled in 2016, over the previous five years. In response, OSHA is working to raise awareness and provide safety resources on the related hazards as a top priority in 2018.

To help spread the word and assist OSHA in reaching its goal to reduce excavation and trenching hazards by 10% in 2018, CORE Safety developed a free printable Trench Safety Poster for posting on job sites. Download it now, and share the following checklist of ways to ensure excavation and trenching safety with your teams.

Trench Safety Best Practices

  • A person of authority, who has completed Trenching Safety Training, must be present at all times while trench work is occurring to inspect for existing or potential hazards and ensure prevention or correction of said hazards.
  • All workers involved with the trench work must be trained to recognize existing or potential hazards and informed of how to protect themselves from cave-ins.
  • Analyze the soil to determine soil type. If you are not sure of soil type, assume it is Type C.
  • Slope trench sides appropriate to the type of soil or provide shoring or trench box.
  • Locate all underground utilities prior to digging.
  • Increase slope of trenches that are exposed to vibrations of construction equipment, construction operations, traffic, etc.
  • Keep stored materials at least 2 feet from the edge of the trench.
  • Keep excavated material at least 2 feet from the edge of the trench.
  • Don’t allow water to accumulate in the trench.
  • Professional engineering is required for trenches 20 feet deep or deeper.
  • Provide a ladder, steps, or ramp within 25 feet of travel from anywhere in the trench.
  • Keep heavy loads of all kinds as far away from the trench as possible.



For more trenching and excavation tips, download our Trench Safety Poster or visit

View and download more FREE safety handout and poster downloads.

Environmental Impact: Silica Dust at Construction Sites

The new silica standard for construction established by OSHA in 2017 has received much coverage for the protections it established for workers. But beyond the human risk from silica dust, construction teams should take measures to protect the environment from it as well.


The new silica standard for construction established by OSHA in 2017 has received much coverage for the protections it established for workers. But beyond the human risk from silica dust, construction teams should take measures to protect the environment from it as well.

Here’s a quick overview of what construction teams need to know:

Crystalline silica is one of the most common minerals found in the earth’s crust. 

Many common building materials contain silica:

  • Sand
  • Stone
  • Cement/Concrete
  • Mortar

Hazards of crystalline silica:

  • Activities like cutting, grinding and drilling generate respirable dust containing crystalline silica.
  • Unprotected site workers and offsite pedestrians who inhale crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of serious, potentially fatal, lung and kidney diseases.

Environmental regulation of crystalline silica at construction sites:

  • Airborne silica dust is generally addressed under construction site requirements to minimize nuisance dust. State stormwater permits and local ordinances typically require use of dust control methods. Common practice is to use wet-cutting methods or dust collection systems.
  • Discharge of untreated silica dust slurries from mixing and wet-cutting operations into storm drains or offsite water bodies is prohibited by state National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and local ordinances. Slurry runoff can be controlled through the use of common stormwater best management practices (BMPs) like wattles, gravel berms and inlet protection devices.
  • Silica dust collected from dry-cutting concrete can typically be disposed of with normal construction waste. Dust and residue generated during abrasive blasting activities may contain heavy metals and other toxic materials. Verify requirements before engaging in any activities that may generate dust contaminated with hazardous substances.

If you are concerned about the risk from silica dust on your site, consider bringing in a safety expert to conduct a safety program assessment and help ensure that you are protecting your people and the surrounding community.

What to know about OSHA’s new silica standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new standard for construction went into effect on September 23rd of this year, outlining stricter limitations on the amount of silica dust, or respirable crystalline silica, that can be inhaled by workers on construction sites.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new standard for construction went into effect on September 23rd of this year, outlining stricter limitations on the amount of silica dust, or respirable crystalline silica, that can be inhaled by workers on construction sites. One hundred times smaller than sand granules, silica dust particles are produced by cutting, grinding or blasting materials including concrete, stone and brick. Exposure to silica dust over an extended period can lead to silicosis, lung cancer, kidney disease and obstructive pulmonary disease.OSHA’s previous standard required that silica dust particles be limited to 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an average of eight hours. The new standard reduces that to 50 micrograms over the same time period. Of the two million workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica annually, OSHA estimates that more than 840,000 construction workers are exposed to levels that exceed the new permissible exposure limit.In addition to the exposure limits, the new rules require contractors to:

  • Develop a written silica exposure control plan.
  • Designate someone to implement the plan.
  • Adjust housekeeping practices to control silica dust exposure.
  • Provide medical exams every three years to employees who are exposed to silica to the point of having to wear a respirator for 30 days or more each year.
  • Train workers on how to limit exposure to silica.
  • Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and related medical treatment.

The new rules require an initial assessment of how much silica dust a company’s operations generate. And, if the reading falls below 25 micrograms over the eight-hour period, then the company is not required to provide medical tests, develop a written plan or undertake any of the suggested engineering controls.

CORE Safety can help your team develop a safe and effective silica exposure plan and serve as a liaison to OSHA inspectors to prevent these fines. Click here for more information on our services.

Click here to download OSHA’s Fact Sheet on the new silica standard.

Source from Construction Dive

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