Top Four Construction Hazards

SSL-construction_160485521The top four causes of construction fatalities are: Falls, Struck-By, Caught-In/Between and Electrocutions.

Prevent Falls

  • Wear and use personal fall arrest equipment.
  • Install and maintain perimeter protection.
  • Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers.
  • Use ladders and scaffolds safely.

Prevent Struck-By

  • Never position yourself between moving and fixed objects.
  • Wear high-visibility clothes near equipment/vehicles.

Prevent Caught-In/Between

  • Never enter an unprotected trench or excavation 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place; some trenches under 5 feet deep may also need such a system.
  • Make sure the trench or excavation is protected either by sloping, shoring, benching or trench shield systems.

Prevent Electrocutions

  • Locate and identify utilities before starting work.
  • Look for overhead power lines when operating any equipment.
  • Maintain a safe distance away from power lines; learn the safe distance requirements.
  • Do not operate portable electric tools unless they are grounded or double insulated.
  • Use ground-fault circuit interrupters for protection.
  • Be alert to electrical hazards when working with ladders, scaffolds or other platforms.

via Top Four Construction Hazards.

Investigate Accidents with Prevention in Mind

?????????????????????????Thousands of accidents occur throughout the United States every day. The failure of people, equipment, supplies, or surroundings to behave or react as expected causes most of them. Accident investigations determine how and why these failures occur. By using the information gained through an investigation, a similar, or perhaps more disastrous, accident may be prevented. It is important to conduct accident investigations with prevention in mind.

via Safety and Health Topics | Accident Investigation.

What is a safety culture – how will it impact my company?

cute safety cultureSafety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment. Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior. An organizations safety culture is the result of a number of factors such as:

  • Management and employee norms, assumptions and beliefs;
  • Management and employee attitudes;
  • Values, myths, stories;
  • Policies and procedures;
  • Supervisor priorities, responsibilities and accountability;
  • Production and bottom line pressures vs. quality issues;
  • Actions or lack of action to correct unsafe behaviors;
  • Employee training and motivation; and
  • Employee involvement or “buy-in.”

via Safety and Health Management Systems eTool | Module 4: Creating Change – Safety and Health Program Management: Fact Sheets: Creating a Safety Culture.

Reporting Accidents Immediately Key to Lower Work Comp Costs

Accident_ReportEmployees must know before they get hurt who they should talk to when they suffer an injury. Immediate injury reporting is a key to keeping injury costs as low as possible. Studies have shown that the costs of an injury go up when there is a delay in reporting. Make it your policy that any employee injury is reported before the end of the shift.

via IWCP: Institute of WorkComp Professionals.

Alcoa Safety: Zero Is Possible

alcoa-graphicZero work-related injuries and illnesses have been long-standing goals for Alcoa. But when zero first became the target, it seemed unreachable. “Accidents are inevitable” was often the response.

It’s not. They felt they could attain zero. That it is possible, and, in many locations, it is already there, thanks to dedicated effort and a firm commitment to their core values, one of which is to work safely, promote wellness, and protect the environment.

via Alcoa: Worldwide: Sustainability: Enhancing Our Workplace: Safety.

Winter Weather: Avoid Slip and Fall Injuries

slip-fall-iceOutdoor surfaces, such as parking lots, sidewalks, and walkways, are one of the leading areas for slip and fall injuries. Snow, ice, and rain often make these areas slippery and dangerous. Winter conditions factor heavily into outdoor slip and fall injuries. Keep icy walkways clear.

via Managing Slip and Fall Injuries | Culture of Safety.

Fall Injuries Prevention in the Workplace

slip_and_fall-work-compFalls are a persistent hazard found in all occupational settings. A fall can occur during the simple acts of walking or climbing a ladder to change a light fixture or as a result of a complex series of events affecting an ironworker 80 feet above the ground. According to the 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 605 workers were killed and an estimated 212,760 workers were seriously injured by falls to the same or lower level.

via CDC – Fall Injuries Prevention in the Workplace – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

Control Banding – Workplace Safety and Health

ehs_control-bandingWhat is CONTROL BANDING?

Control banding (CB) is a technique used to guide the assessment and management of workplace risks. It is a generic technique that determines a control measure (for example dilution ventilation, engineering controls, containment, etc.) based on a range or “band” of hazards (such as skin/eye irritant, very toxic, carcinogenic, etc) and exposures (small, medium, large exposure). It is an approach that is based on two pillars; the fact that there are a limited number of control approaches, and that many problems have been met and solved before. CB uses the solutions that experts have developed previously to control occupational chemical exposures, and suggesting them to other tasks with similar exposure situations. It is an approach that focuses resources on exposure controls and describes how strictly a risk needs to be managed. NIOSH considers CB a potentially useful tool for small businesses.

Control banding must be used in conjunction with health and safety practices such as substitution. Substitution for a less hazardous chemical is still highly recommended to prevent exposure. It is important to note that Control Banding is NOT a replacement for experts in occupational safety and health nor does it eliminate the need to perform exposure monitoring. CB highly recommends the use of professionals to provide recommendations. The fourth band specifically recommends seeking professional assistance for highly hazardous exposures. Furthermore, CB recommends exposure monitoring to follow the CB intervention to ensure the installed controls are working properly.

via CDC – Control Banding – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

7 Practices for Safety Leaders

137505843What Great Safety Leaders Do

Many of us have known great safety leaders whose commitment to safety, combined with excellence in leadership, have had an enormous positive impact on their organizations. The hard part is pinning down exactly what it is they do that distinguishes them from other leaders. Our experience is that these people tend to use certain practices that define how they interact with others in the organization and how they go about their day-to-day work. Not surprisingly, these behaviours have been shown to correlate positively with culture and climate attributes that support good safety outcomes:

  • Vision – The effective leader is able to “see” what safety excellence would look like and conveys that vision in a compelling way throughout the organization. This leader acts in a way that communicates high personal standards in safety, helps others question and rethink their assumptions about safety, and describes a compelling picture of what the future can be.
  • Credibility – The effective leader fosters a high level of trust in his or her peers and reports. This leader is willing to admit mistakes with others, advocate for direct reports and the interests of the group, and giving honest information about safety even it if is not well received.
  • Collaboration – The effective leader works well with other people, promotes cooperation and collaboration in safety, actively seeks input from people on issues that affect them, and encourages others to implement their decisions and solutions for improving safety.
  • Communication – The effective leader is a great communicator. He or she encourages people to give honest and complete information about safety even if the information is unfavorable. This leader keeps people informed about the big picture in safety, and communicates frequently and effectively up, down, and across the organization.
  • Action-Orientation – The effective leader is proactive rather than reactive in addressing safety issues. This leader gives timely, considered responses for safety concerns, demonstrates a sense of personal urgency and energy to achieve safety results, and demonstrates a performance-driven focus by delivering results with speed and excellence.
  • Feedback & Recognition – The effective leader is good at providing feedback and recognizing people for their accomplishments. This person publicly recognizes the contributions of others, uses praise more often than criticism, gives positive feedback and recognition for good performance, and finds ways to celebrate accomplishments in safety.
  • Accountability – Finally, the effective leader practices accountability. He or she gives people a fair appraisal of the efforts and results in safety, clearly communicates people’s roles in the safety effort, and fosters the sense that every person is responsible for the level of safety in their organisational unit. It is important to note that this practice is placed last; accountability, absent the context of the other practices, can be counterproductive. Employees will know they will be held accountable, but not necessarily given the resources, information, leadership, support, and encouragement they need to accomplish the task. When used as part of the other six practices, however, accountability complements the work begun.

via 7 Practices for Safety Leaders.

Why Have a Safety Committee?

Health-Safety-Hard-Hat-Label-HH-0135Health and Safety Committees should be established for the following purposes:

  1. To increase and maintain the interest of employees in health and safety issues.
  2. To convince managers, supervisors and employees through awareness and training activities that they are primarily responsible for the prevention of workplace accidents.
  3. To help make health and safety activities an integral part of the organization’s operating procedures, culture and programs.
  4. To provide an opportunity for the free discussion of health and safety problems and possible solutions.
  5. To inform and educate employees and supervisors about health and safety issues, new standards, research findings, etc.
  6. To help reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses.
  7. To help insure compliance with federal and state health and safety standards.

via Safety Committee Guidelines.