Core Safety Group

Dropped Object Protection

As we all know one of OSHA’s focus four topics is Struck By.

Being struck by falling objects kills hundreds of workers each year and injures tens of thousands more.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 247 deaths were attributed to impacts from dropped tools and other objects in 2015.

Furthermore, according to Liberty Mutual struck by incidents caused 8.6% of the national burden in 2016 resulting in $5.3 billion dollars in direct cost.

Protective equipment, such as hard hats, have long been available with standards written to minimize the effects of struck-by incidents, but this is only addressing this hazard after the object has fallen.

Prevention measures such as netting and toe boards are also put in place to mitigate the risk, however, those practices do not entirely prevent incidents.

While working at heights, active controls utilized to prevent falling tools and objects by tying them off or containing then with tethering systems are a rapidly growing proactive safety practice.

ANSI recently established manufacturing guidelines for tethering systems which was a significant step in reducing dropped tool incidents. Click here to purchase the standard.

While doing work from an elevated position, make sure you evaluate your potential for dropping objects.  Identify all those who could be exposed and take necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

 

Click here for a list of training that CORE Safety offers.

Signaling on Construction Sites

One of the most common complaints from workers on project sites, regarding hoisting operations, is they can’t hear the signal person’s whistle.

The Rig Ring, by  RK Solutions, is an electronic 120DB whistle and blinking light that combines handheld functionality with remote control capability. The Rig Ring is intended to be fixed to an overhead load by the certified rigger or signal person, while the signal person is communicating with the crane operator via radio, the rigger can activate the Rig Ring whistle remotely.  This really allows the signal person to be able to concentrate on communication during the lift.

To see the device in action, watch the video below.

 

For more information on the Rig Ring, head on over to their website!

If you or your company is in the need of awareness training for rigging and signaling give us a call or request a custom quote!

 

*CORE Safety was not paid for this post and these opinions are our own. 

What Can I Wear Beneath My Hard Hat?

It’s that time of year when staying warm is important, especially if you are working outside for long periods of time.  A common question in the construction industry is, what is permitted to be worn underneath a hard hat?

  • Winter liners can be worn but should be inspected to ensure they do not adversely affect the proper fit or function of the hard hat.
  • Bandannas, skull-caps, hoods, or welder’s caps that do not contain metal parts should be used only if they are worn smoothly on the top of the head.

Care should be taken to avoid pressure points because the suspension should still be adjusted to provide a snug and comfortable fit.

  • Baseball-style caps should not be worn; they will interfere with the ability of the suspension to work properly during an impact.

Follow this link to an OSHA standard interpretation that addresses this exact question.

Click here for a list of onsite training that CORE Safety offers for you and your employees.

 

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 OSHA.gov.

View and download more FREE safety handout and poster downloads.

Achieving Permanent Soil Stabilization: Plan, Communicate, Adapt

Achieving final stabilization status at construction sites can be challenging. There are many factors that can make or break your project’s goals for timing and cost. Here are some key considerations courtesy of CORE Safety’s Environmental Compliance Manager, Joe Welch.

The EPA requires “final stabilization” of soil on a construction site under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program and defines this as:

  • All soil disturbing activities at the [construction] site have been completed and either of the two following criteria are met:
    • A uniform (e.g,, evenly distributed, without large bare areas) perennial vegetative cover with a density of 70 percent of the native background vegetative cover for the area has been established on all unpaved areas and areas not covered by permanent structures, or
    • Equivalent permanent stabilization measures (such as the use of riprap, gabions, or geotextiles) have been employed.

Achieving final stabilization status at construction sites can be challenging. There are many factors that can make or break your project’s goals for timing and cost. Here are some key considerations courtesy of CORE Safety’s Environmental Compliance Manager, Joe Welch.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A  PRINT-READY VERSION OF THIS MESSAGE TO SHARE WITH YOUR TEAM.

Key considerations with soil stabilization:

Optimizing Soil Conditions

  • Determine if soil will need to be imported.
  • Analyze existing or imported soil to determine amendment needs.
  • Consider engineered soil media as a solution to optimize growing conditions and mitigate costs for truckloads of topsoil.
  • Tillage of compacted soil before planting significantly increases water infiltration for growth.

Selection of Vegetative Cover

  • Determine which areas of the site will be sodded and/or seed be planted.
  • Identify specific requirements for selection of plant species (state, local, client).
  • Verify soil conditions are conducive to the establishment of selected species.

Erosion Prevention

  • Identify what challenging conditions exist (slopes, banks, concentrated flows etc.).
  • Evaluate measures needed to be taken to mitigate soil erosion during vegetation establishment.
    —Mulch
    —Erosion control blankets
    —Reinforced matting
  • Consider alternative products and/or practices based on experience.

soil stabilization

Planting and Installation

  • Consider how growing seasons will impact stabilization efforts.
  • Adjust the sequencing of activities as needed to achieve stabilization by the target date.
  • Ensure the keys to successful planting and/or installation of erosion prevention measures are reflected in planting and installation plans.
  • Verify that the contractor selected to carry out stabilization requirements has the necessary knowledge, capabilities and availability to fully execute the plan.

Care and Maintenance

  • Verify what level of irrigation is required and how will this be achieved.
  • Understand the expected timetable for vegetation growth and establishment.
  • Periodically inspect progress towards final stabilization and adjust strategies as needed.
  • Understand what “behind schedule” looks like, and what would trigger corrective actions.
  • Ensure special instructions from the landscape designer are followed and discuss any changes that need to be made in the design.

For more information or for assistance with soil stabilization on your site, contact us.

Top Reasons to Attend Instructor-Led Training Courses

While online training is a convenient option, instructor-led safety training offers benefits that will produce a greater long-term payoff, including: Knowledge Retention, Personalized Learning and Peer Learning.

 

While online training is a convenient option, instructor-led safety training offers benefits that will produce a greater long-term payoff, including:

Knowledge Retention

When it comes to knowledge retention, nothing beats instructor led training. The classroom provides a focused environment for learning that encourages participation and discussion.

Personalized Learning

Experienced instructors can tailor approaches and answer specific questions that come up during the course of the training. Students also receive immediate feedback. If a particular section is confusing, too fast or too slow, the trainer can adjust the teaching plan to accommodate real-time feedback.

Peer Learning

In a classroom setting, attendees can gain insight from others questions and learn from their peers as well as the instructor. This is also a great networking opportunity to meet and learn from others in a similar field or trade.

 

Learn more about CORE’s instructor-led and onsite safety courses here.

 

Is Your Workplace Prepared for a Tornado?

This time of year is considered to be tornado season throughout most of the United States. How can you ensure that your employees are prepared?

This time of year is considered to be tornado season throughout most of the United States.

 

How can you ensure that your employees are prepared? Here are four quick tips from Safety and Health Magazine.

Have a Plan

Having a plan in place can help lower injury rates, fatalities, and damage in the event of a tornado.

Look and Listen

Be aware of the sky outside and listen to weather channel warnings.

Seek Shelter

Try to stay hidden on the lower floor in a place with no windows.

After the Storm

Proceed with caution and check workers for injuries.

 

Click here to read the full article and to find other free resources to help prepare your workplace for a tornado.

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.


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ONE-PAGE SILICA DUST OVERVIEW FOR POSTING ON JOB 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.

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 risk assessment and help ensure that you are protecting your people and the surrounding community.

Safety Flash: Injuries Increase Around the Holidays

With the excitement of the holiday season, unfortunately there is often an increase in injuries.

With the excitement of the holiday season, unfortunately there is often an increase in injuries. Causes of Holiday Season Accidents1. Temporary workers: The holiday season can be one of the busiest times of the year for companies. This might cause your company to hire more temporary workers to help with the work load. More accidents can occur when temporary workers are not properly training or not following the company’s safety policy. It is important to have clear safety policies lined out for temporary workers.

2. Fatigue: The holidays can also bring about a lot of stress. In addition to work demands, there are many other personal responsibilities that increase stress levels. Adding more stress can have an effect on sleep schedules, leaving workers fatigued.

3. Fires: The US Fire Administration states that more than 400 people are killed and over 1,650 are injured every year in fire-related incidents that involve Christmas Lights. Make sure outlets are not overloaded, and electrical decorations are left unplugged with the jobsite or office is closed.

Ways to Help Prevent Injuries

1. Toolbox Talks: Schedule extra toolbox talks during this time to help your workers maintain a high level of safety in the workplace.

2. Training: Make sure everyone on your job is properly trained and has a clear understanding of the safety policies. You can also post more posters around the job site to create helpful reminders throughout the day.

3. Reminders: Remind your employees to drive safely, consume alcohol in moderation, and to enjoy their time off with friends and family.

The holidays are a great time to enjoy with friends and family, and even a small injury could have a negative effect on your season. The holiday season can be hectic, but it is important to stay safe and alert to avoid injuries.

Handling Your Top Healthcare Construction Safety Concerns

Construction of healthcare facilities presents a host of challenges for contractors. Open 365 days of the year with employees and patients onsite at all times, these facilities require added security measures and minimal disruption to daily operations to protect the safety and well-being of patients, employees and the general public.

Construction of healthcare facilities presents a host of challenges for contractors. Open 365 days of the year with employees and patients onsite at all times, these facilities require added security measures and minimal disruption to daily operations to protect the safety and well-being of patients, employees and the general public.

Based on research from OSHA and EHS Today these are the top four safety concerns when performing healthcare construction:

Hospitals are 24-hour facilities.

Typically, the dangers of construction sites only put workers at risk. However, when the construction site is a hospital, the 24-hour schedule of staff, patients, incoming and outgoing vehicles, operating rooms and other details come into play. By maintaining regular communication between hospital and construction staff, projects can be completed in a timely manner without compromising the safety of all parties involved.

Patients’ well-being and infection control are top priority—not construction.

Activity on a construction site is never-ending, and maintaining schedule is normally the priority. But when the construction site is a hospital, patient safety takes precedence over progress. By communicating with hospital staff about infection control, logistics and patient safety, high-quality projects can be finished efficiently and safely.

Construction vehicles cannot block ambulance traffic.

Concrete trucks, cranes and other construction vehicles are cumbersome but necessary. Workers should ensure that large equipment and vehicles do not interfere with traffic and be mindful that exits and entrances for ambulances cannot be blocked. When parking and spatial needs are communicated in advance to hospital and construction leadership, they can arrange one particular exit for all construction vehicles to smoothly regulate traffic flow.

Water supply cannot be turned off.

At times during construction, it becomes necessary to turn off a building’s water supply. However, hospital operations requiring water access cannot stop. Therefore, the general contractor and hospital leadership should coordinate this interruption and schedule to have firemen onsite during that time in case of an emergency.

Constant communication and transparency with hospital leadership during the planning and preconstruction phases can put construction on a schedule that accounts for a hospital’s unique challenges. By keeping lines of communication open, construction companies can overcome these challenges and create high-quality, life-saving facilities.

Need assistance on an upcoming healthcare project, contact us.

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