THE SAFETY NET CO N SU LTA N T S
IT’S ALWAYS SAFETY FIRST. ▪
VOLUME 14 ISSUE 8
Work Safely In The Heat: What You Need To Know 07.26.2020 | National Safety Council
Heat-related illnesses accounted for 783 worker deaths and nearly 70,000 serious injuries in the United States from 1992 to 2016. And in 2018 alone, 3,950 workers experienced days away from work as a result of nonfatal injuries and illnesses from on-the-job heat exposure. “Millions of U.S. workers are exposed to heat in the workplace, and although heat-related illness is preventable, each year thousands of workers are getting sick from their exposure to heat, and … some cases are fatal,” Stephen Boyd, deputy regional administrator for OSHA Region 6, said May 19 during an OSHA webinar on preventing heat-related illnesses and injuries. Working in a hot environment can trigger ailments that include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke – considered a medical emergency. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy; excessive sweating; cool, pale, clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; rapid, weak pulse; and muscle cramps. Workers who are experiencing heat exhaustion need to get to a cool, airconditioned place. If fully conscious, they should drink water, take a cool shower and use a cold compress.
SAFETY FIRST. Austin employees have worked 3,561,306 hours without a Lost Time Accident through 06/2020.
Workers with heatstroke may experience a headache but no sweating, and have a body temperature above 103° F. Other symptoms are red, hot, dry skin; nausea or vomiting; and loss of consciousness. Call 911 if a case of heatstroke is suspected, then take action to cool the worker until help arrives. Other tips from OSHA to help prevent heat-related illnesses include: • Drink water every 15 minutes. • If working outside, take rest breaks in the shade to cool down. • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing when working outdoors. • Monitor co-workers for symptoms of heat-related illnesses. OSHA provides employer and worker resources for working in hot weather via its “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign at osha.gov/heat.
Beat the Heat with Water, Rest and Shade 06.30.2020 | weeklysafety.com Every employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program. In 2011 OSHA launched a campaign that gets a lot of buzz every summer. The Heat Illness Prevention campaign aims to educate workers and their employers on the dangers of working in the heat. OSHA does as much as possible every year to get the message out through training sessions, outreach programs, publications, social and online media and they encourage everyone to spread the word. To make it as easy as possible, OSHA has condensed the message down into three key words. WATER. REST. SHADE. Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
ANY HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: 1. Workers should be provided with adequate water, rest and shade during the course of the work day. 2. New or returning workers should be allowed to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they build up their tolerance to working in the heat.
3. Emergency plans for first aid and medical transport should any employee show signs of heat illness. 4. Safety meetings to train workers on heat illness prevention. 5. Safety meetings to train workers to recognize symptoms of heat-related illnesses in themselves and their co-workers. 6. Training program for supervisors on preventing and recognizing heat-related illness. 7. Monitoring program set up during every shift to ensure water, rest and shade are being adequately provided
17. Train all workers in First Aid/CPR with emphasis on recognition of heat stress. 18. Share the message about heat illness prevention as often as possible on social media by sharing pictures of your crews to inspire others and make sure to use the hashtag #WATERRESTSHADE. 19. Workers need to be aware of their specific limitations and remember that sometimes their body may not cool off fast enough. Factors that can increase the chance of heat stress include:
and heat-related illnesses are being prevented and
; High temperature and humidity
caught early as symptoms are noticed.
; Not drinking enough water
8. Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. More than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry, but workers in every field are susceptible. There are a range of heat illnesses and they can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition. 9. Some companies are getting creative with their heat
; Direct exposure (with no shade) or extreme heat ; No breeze or wind ; Physical activity without breaks ; Use of bulky protective clothing and equipment To learn more about heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke you can visit our popular article on Recognizing Heat Stress and visit the OSHA page
illness prevention programs. Here are some awesome
on Occupational Heat Exposure.
examples of how companies across the country and
All companies that have outdoor workers, or any
making sure their workers stay safe, but still get the job done, when temperatures soar in the summertime.
employees that work in a warm or hot environment for any part of the work day, should be having safety meetings
10. Implement a buddy system within shifts so workers can
and giving toolbox talks on heat stress. Ideally the message
keep an eye on each other and report heat illness
should be reinforced throughout the summer, at least once
symptoms quickly to the supervisor.
a month, but more often if possible.
11. Set up portable canopies outside with misting hoses woven throughout the frames to cover workers with a fine mist of water to help keep everyone cool. 12. Cooling caps and bandanas are provided to all outdoor workers. 13. Monitor the OSHA-NIOSH heat safety app and follow the provided recommendations. 14. When temperatures are expected to be especially high, provide earlier shift options and additional breaks. 15. Keep reinforcing the heat illness prevention message throughout the entire summer by sending text messages and emails to all workers, posting signs and posters around the job site and giving frequent toolbox talks on the hazards of heat exposure. 16. When working inside shops, hangars, and warehouses that get exceedingly hot, provide plenty of large fans, ice machines and water dispensers and rotate jobs to cooler locations inside and out.
OSHA Moves National Safety Stand-Down to September 07.06.2020 | National Safety Council Washington — OSHA has rescheduled the seventh annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction for Sept. 14-18. The event initially was set for May 4-8, but was postponed March 27 over concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It now will coincide with Construction Safety Week, which also was recently rescheduled for Sept. 14-18. Speaking during a July 2 webinar hosted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, OSHA Directorate of Construction Director Scott Ketcham said the agency and its partners in the stand-down – NIOSH and CPWR – “are going to be working on getting information out to you as stakeholders on how to do a falls stand-down in a COVID environment” that includes physical distancing and other precautionary measures. Falls are among the leading causes of fatal workplace injuries among construction workers. OSHA “encourages employers to remain vigilant and to use all available resources to enhance worker safety.” According to the agency, millions of construction workers have participated in the campaign since the stand-down began in 2014, with events having occurred in all 50 states and internationally.
Construction Related Fatalities from March to July 2020 DATE
A 44-year-old master electrician removed the cover from a
480-volt electrical panel to repaint the cover. As he was placing and securing caution tape in and around the electrical panel, the master electrician came in contact with exposed electrical conductors inside the panel and was electrocuted.
A 60-year-old maintenance technician/electrician began replacing 480-VAC wiring powering a conveyor drive motor. The maintenance technician/electrician was working alone
Maintenance Technician & Electrician
making a new connection in a junction box containing multiple energized wires. He contacted energized wires and was subsequently electrocuted. He was discovered by coworkers at approximately 11:45 a.m. who immediately called 911. The maintenance technician/electrician was pronounced dead on the scene.
FEDERAL OR STATE
Worker fatally struck by vehicle
Worker died in fall from scaffold
Saint George, UT
Worker died in fall from roof
Worker died in fall through floor opening
Worker died from infection of occupational injury
Worker electrocuted while fixing lights
Worker died in vehicle collision
New OSHA Directive Details Enforcement of Silica Standards 07.01.2020 | National Safety Council Washington — Seeking “uniformity” in the enforcement of its silica standards, OSHA has published an instructional directive for its compliance safety and health officers. Dated June 25, the directive outlines inspection procedures for addressing respirable crystalline silica exposures in general industry, maritime and construction. The directive guides OSHA inspectors on the enforcement of the silica standards’ requirements, which include:
• Employee information and training • Medical surveillance “The directive also provides clarity on major topics, such as alternative exposure control methods when a construction employer does not fully and properly implement Table 1, variability in sampling, multiemployer situations, and temporary workers,” a June 26 agency press release states “The standards call for a permissible exposure limit of 50
• Methods of compliance
micrograms per cubic meter of air over an 8-hour time-
• Exposure assessments
weighted average. As of June 23, general industry and
• Table 1 tasks and specified exposure control methods
maritime employers must offer medical surveillance to all employees who are exposed to the silica standard’s
“action level” of 25 micrograms per cubic meter for 30 or
• Communication of hazards
more days a year”.
• Respiratory protection
Hydraulic fracturing operations in the oil and gas
• Regulated areas • Recordkeeping
industry have until June 23, 2021, to comply with OSHA requirements for the standard’s engineering controls.
OSHA Citations U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR | JUNE 10, 2020 U.S. Department of Labor Proposes $1.9 Million Fine to New Jersey Framing Contractor for Exposing Workers to Safety Hazards PALISADES PARK, NJ – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing penalties against BB Frame LLC – operating as Frame Q and as Juan Quevedo (the owner and principal) – for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards at four Bergen County, New Jersey, worksites. OSHA conducted five investigations beginning in December 2019 of the Palisades Park, New Jersey, framing contractor and is proposing $1,997,125 in penalties. In February 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed a lawsuit alleging Frame Q failed to pay the Department of the Treasury over $678,053 in civil penalties and delinquency fees. OSHA had levied the underlying fines between 2013 and 2017 for dozens of violations, including lack of fall protection and ladder safety. Shortly after the DOJ filed suit, Quevedo dissolved Frame Q LLC, but continued doing business as Frame Q while using the BB Frame corporate entity. In December 2019, OSHA conducted a complaint investigation at a worksite in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, and cited the company for nine safety violations and a $520,860 proposed penalty. OSHA conducted another investigation in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and cited the company for five citations with a proposed penalty of $426,785. In January 2020, as part of OSHA’s local emphasis program for fall hazards, the agency opened an investigation at a different location in Cliffside Park. It resulted in five safety citations with a $405,588 proposed penalty. OSHA completed two additional investigations in February 2020 at a Palisades Park, New Jersey, site. The agency initiated one as part of the local emphasis program for fall hazards, and issued three citations with a proposed penalty of $274,892. The other investigation, initiated in response to a complaint, resulted in eight violations and a $369,000 proposed penalty. “This employer’s extensive history of egregious disregard for the safety of workers will not be tolerated,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson, in New York. “Employers are required by law to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces.” “Worker safety should be an employer’s top priority every day,” said OSHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt. “OSHA has extensive resources to assist employers with providing a workplace free from recognized hazards and complying with occupational safety and health standards.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR | JUNE 11, 2020 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Roofing Contractor After Employee Suffers Fatal Fall at Alabama Worksite MOBILE, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited roofing contractor Elmer Julio Perez – operating as Julio Perez – for failing to protect employees from fall hazards after a worker fatally fell from a residential roof at a Mobile, Alabama, worksite. The company faces $138,118 in penalties. OSHA cited the employer for failing to ensure that employees used fall protection, and report a hospitalization within 24 hours and a fatality within 8 hours, as required. The agency has established a Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction to reduce exposure to fall hazards in construction. “Allowing employees to work at heights without using proper fall protection methods increases the risk of serious or fatal injuries,” said OSHA Mobile Area Director Jose Gonzalez. “Employers have an obligation to ensure the working conditions are free of hazards.” OSHA’s Fall Protection in Construction booklet provides information on regulatory standards, including conventional fall protection systems, fall restraints, and training. The Fall Protection webpage offers extensive reference materials to help employers and workers recognize and prevent fall hazards.
Refocusing Attention on Safety: A Call to Action 07.08.2020 | EHS TODAY by Alfonsius Ariawan The attention demanded by the pandemic has accelerated other safety risks that have always been present.
RISK ACCELERATORS The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted
In May, an explosion at a chemical plant in Porto
most, if not all, companies to refocus their priorities on
Marghera, near Venice, Italy, sent clouds of black smoke
ensuring that workplace infection is prevented. But as
and flames into the immediate area, injuring two workers
companies adapted new policies and procedures, and
and prompting authorities to order residents to shelter in
implemented additional measures, other risks were not
place. Earlier in the month, styrene leaked from a storage
being adequately managed. The decisions made in
tank in Visakhapatnam, India, when workers were restarting
response to COVID-19 and the attention demanded by the
operations after shutting down for COVID-19, causing 11
pandemic have accelerated other risks that have always
deaths and forcing hundreds in the surrounding area to be
been present, particularly safety risks. These risk accelerators
hospitalized. The following month saw a fire erupt at a plant
have had serious consequences to companiesâ€™ bottom
in the U.K., and though it resulted in no injuries to workers,
lines, employee safety and surrounding communities.
the facility had to shut down for five days.
Figure 1 offers a look at the most commonly cited risk
These are just a few examples of safety incidents that have
accelerators. Some of these are consequentially related.
occurred around the world in the past few months. It seems
For example, many companies turned their attention to
that as companies scrambled to address the health risks of
cost reductions and cash conservation as the economic
COVID-19 in their workplaces, they have not paid enough
fallout of the pandemic escalated. The result has typically
attention to other safety risks. Companies need to refocus
been a decision to delay maintenance.
their attention and ensure all safety risks are managed within the context of the COVID-19 reality.
Figure 1: Examples of Risk Accelerators (DuPont Sustainable Solutions)
EXAMPLE OF RISK ACCELERATORS Cost reduction to preserve cash Business pressure to recover Lack of engagement by management due to competing issues
People Related Causes • • • • • •
Labor shortage/absenteeism Distractions Use of unqualified/new resources Fatigue Short-cuts Perceptions of risk vs. unspoken expectation
Operations Related Causes • • •
Deferred maintenance Lack of restart planning Inherent risk associated with nonroutine operations (shut-down, restart, ramp-up) Use of materials from non-qualified vendors/suppliers due to supply constraints
Ri CO sk VI A D-r cc e el lat er ed at or s
• • •
Business Related Causes
The impact of the pandemic on companies’ financial
As you validate your risk profile, take the opportunity
performance has also put tremendous pressure on
to review all your existing critical controls. Ensure that
those that shut down to restart and recover quickly. The
they are still effective and have not been impacted by
consequence has been a rush to restart with little or poor
decisions made in response to COVID-19 (such as delayed
planning, which has markedly increased the chances of
maintenance to conserve costs, etc.). Conduct functional
safety incidents. As a study by the Center for Chemical
testing, if appropriate, as controls may have been
Process Safety has shown, process safety incidents are
compromised. Review maintenance status and catch up
five times more likely to occur after shutdown than during
on actions that have been delayed.
Most importantly, refocus your attention to your people.
For companies that have been able to maintain operations
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that none of us
during COVID-19, many have struggled with labor shortages
has experienced before. Many employees are distracted.
due to employees who are unwilling or unable to work.
Some have been absent from the operational setting for
Meanwhile, employees who continue to work are dealing
some time due to reasons such as illnesses, family needs, or
with fatigue and mental stress. In some cases, to alleviate
furlough. Retraining or recalibration of risk awareness may
labor issues, complementary workforce is used, despite
their lack of capability and experience. Employees are also required to adopt new ways of conducting tasks in light of new policies, procedures and additional measures that have been put in place to prevent workplace infection. With more processes come more complexity that further distracts employees.
CALL FOR ACTION As organizations continue or resume operations in the current COVID-19 environment, adequate attention needs to be given to ensure that pre-COVID-19 risks are not neglected. Consider thoroughly assessing your safety risks in light of any changes and decisions that may have been implemented specifically related to the pandemic. Not only are prepandemic risks still present, but their profile has likely shifted. The assessment of risk is a worthwhile exercise, even for those that have continued to operate during the pandemic. In fact, now is a good time to pause and re-
Re-engage your workforce and help them re-internalize the risks associated with their work. This can be done by involving employees in risk assessments and in the identification of specific actions to minimize risks. Employees are a company’s first line of defense in the prevention of incidents. They must be in the right frame of mind and aware of all potential risks they could encounter in the workplace, not just health risks from COVID-19. This is a call for action. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has burdened companies with a new set of safety challenges to overcome, it must not be used to justify the neglect of pre-pandemic risks. Despite the challenges, organizations can operate safely and productively by recognizing that pre-pandemic risks still exist and require the same, if not more, attention. As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to refocus our attention to these safety risks, in addition to the risks that COVID-19 bears in the “new normal.”
baseline safety risks. For operations that have shut down, ensure that proper planning is conducted prior to restart.
COVID-19 and Working Women | The Pandemic is Creating Some Unique Challenges 07.26.2020 | by Barry Bottino In industries predominantly made up of women, notably
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection
health care, as well as those in which women aren’t
shows that, as of July 8, 512 health care workers died as a
well represented, including construction and the trades,
result of COVID-19. However, the agency noted that health
female workers are facing unique challenges amid the
care personnel status was available for only 21.4% of the
nearly 2.5 million people for whom it had data. Burger and
“The impact of COVID-19 on female workers must be a high
NNU, which represents more than 150,000 registered nurses
priority because women dominate very high-risk jobs such
nationwide, believe strongly that female workers have
as health care,” said Juliana Ruggieri, training coordinator
been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and vice chair of
Burger, a 45-year nursing veteran, expressed frustration with
the Women’s Division at the National Safety Council.
the federal government regarding personal protective
equipment. “From the very outset, the CDC had the highest standard” for the use of a controlled air-purifying respirator
In March, OSHA published a chart to help determine
or powered air-purifying respirator when caring for patients
workers’ risk level for exposure. The four-tiered chart is
during procedures generating aerosolized particles, she
based on a hierarchy of occupational risk, from “very high”
said. “Almost everything in intensive care is generating
to “lower (caution).” Health care workers fall into the “very
aerosolized particles. Then N95s became the floor. ...
high” risk group. Among them are nurses, more than 80% of
(Eventually) it was, if you can’t get a CAPR, an N95 or a
whom are women, according U.S. Census Bureau data.
surgical mask, you can use just a paper mask or a bandana
An effort to research the number of nurses whose deaths
or a scarf.”
are linked to COVID-19 led Deborah Burger and her
Now, months into the pandemic, Burger said nurses are
colleagues to a grim task.
reporting persistent shortages of PPE at their facilities.
“We started trying to track it by looking at the obituaries,”
She said she found her own N95 masks at a California
said Burger, president of National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association. “It’s not tracked anywhere.”
safety gear store, while her husband located some at a feed store.
Worker Exposure Risk to COVID-19 Classifying Worker Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 Worker risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, during an outbreak may depend in part on the industry type and need for contact within 6 feet of people known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19. OSHA has divided job tasks into four risk exposure levels, as shown below. Most American workers will likely fall in the lower exposure risk (caution) or medium exposure risk levels.
Occupational Risk Pyramid for COVID-19 VERY HIGH EXPOSURE RISK Jobs with a high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19 during specific medical, postmortem, or laboratory procedures. Workers include: • Healthcare and morgue workers performing aerosol-generating
procedures on or collecting/handling specimens from potentially infectious patients or bodies of people known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19 at the time of death.
HIGH EXPOSURE RISK Jobs with a high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19. Workers in this category include:
The four exposure risk levels represent probable distribution of risk.
• Healthcare delivery, healthcare support, medical transport, and mortuary workers exposed to
known or suspected COVID-19 patients or bodies of people known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19 at the time of death.
MEDIUM EXPOSURE RISK Jobs that require frequent/close contact with people who may be infected, but who are not known or suspected patients. Workers in this category include: • Those who may have contact with the general public (e.g., schools, high-population-density work
environments, some high-volume retail settings), including individuals returning from locations with widespread COVID-19 transmission.
LOWER EXPOSURE RISK (CAUTION) Jobs that do not require contact with people known to be, or suspected of being, infected. • Workers in this category have minimal occupational contact with the public and other coworkers.
For more information, see the Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
...continued on next page 11
THE TRADES While health care workers deal with reported shortages of PPE, women in trades face a long-standing dilemma. “Workers come in all shapes and sizes,” said Chris Cain, executive director of CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. “Tradeswomen are typically smaller than the average construction worker, and one long-
and physiologic changes” during pregnancy, they might be at increased risk of more severe respiratory illnesses, researchers concluded. Although they don’t have a higher mortality rate, pregnant women also are 1.5 times more likely to be admitted into an intensive care unit and 1.7 times more likely to receive mechanical ventilation, the researchers found.
running concern is poorly fitting PPE. This is even more
The researchers, who looked at laboratory-confirmed cases
significant during this pandemic, where properly fitted
between Jan. 22 and June 7, determined that measures
respirators are needed when workers are in proximity.”
to prevent infection should be emphasized to reduce the
A survey of 445 tradeswomen in the United States and Canada on the impact of COVID-19 conducted in March and April by Chicago Women in Trades – a training and
occurrence of severe illness among pregnant women. Potential barriers to adhering to these measures also should be addressed.
advocacy organization for female workers – found that
For parents of young children, COVID-19 has led to
respondents identified improperly fitting PPE, unsanitary
a whirlwind of changes, with schools and day care
bathrooms and lack of handwashing facilities as three of
centers closing while some of them work essential jobs. A
the most common concerns on jobsites. All three can cause
nationwide survey of 800 parents of children younger than 5
concerns about a lack of protection against COVID-19.
conducted between March 31 and April 4 by the Bipartisan
“Building and construction trades workers regularly work on jobsites that are notorious for their lack of cleanliness and unsanitary conditions,” CWIT Director Lauren Sugerman said. “Most sites rely on limited unhygienic toilet facilities that are not cleaned or changed out every day. Moreover, handwashing stations are not a (common) feature of jobsites. And, even if they were, workers regularly share tools, hold a ladder, climb a scaffold and commonly
Policy Center and Morning Consult found that 63% of respondents working during the pandemic had difficulty finding child care. Among those working in person, 49% said they needed child care, while 21% were reducing their work hours to care for their kids. “All parents are finding it especially challenging now balancing work and family demands,” Cain said, “and in a lot of families, women take the lead in parenting.”
work with materials many other workers touch.”
THE ROAD AHEAD
Additionally, only 28% of the respondents said they
After dozens of states experienced rises in COVID-19 cases
had facemasks and other PPE to use on the job. “This is
in June and July, experts say employers should focus on
unsurprising, as jobsite safety and hygiene are not new
a multipronged effort to keep workers, including women,
issues for tradeswomen,” Sugerman said.
safe and healthy. Along with taking physical precautions,
People in the trades also tend to work in teams and
mental health must be considered. Initiatives such as
in confined spaces. On its Women in Construction
the National Safety Council-led SAFER: Safe Actions for
webpage, OSHA says women should test employer-
Employee Returns offer guidance.
provided PPE for fit and comfort, and that protective
“Some of these guides focus on stress management,
gear worn by women should be based on body
building resilience and managing workplace fatigue, which
measurement data. Proper fit is important to ensure
can be introduced into an existing or new employee safety
workers are effectively protected from hazards.
program,” Ruggieri said. “As COVID-19 continues to impact
“If the provided PPE is uncomfortable, or not suitable for the
female workers significantly, businesses must be flexible and
worker, they should report this condition to their employer
dynamic in their response to worker health and safety.”
for a suitable replacement,” the agency says.
PREGNANT WORKERS AND PARENTS Results of a CDC study published in June raise concerns about the effects of COVID-19 on women who are pregnant. Because women experience “immunologic
OSHA Proposing Several New Rule Changes for Construction Through 2021 07.20.2020 | Construction Junkie by Shane Hedmond The Trump Administration has recently released its Spring 2020 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which reports on the actions that each of the administrative agencies expect to issue in the future. Among those actions were several involving OSHA and construction. There are currently 24 OSHA related items on this year’s agenda, but only a handful affecting the construction industry:
BLOOD LEAD LEVEL FOR MEDICAL REMOVAL Standard Affected: 29 CFR 1926.62
(DC) voltages as well as alternating current (AC) voltages; broaden the exclusion for forklifts carrying loads under the forks from “winch or hook” to a “winch and boom”; clarify
Status: Prerule Stage
an exclusion for work activities by articulating cranes;
Expected Timeframe: September 2020
provide four definitions inadvertently omitted in the final
Description (from agenda): OSHA lead standards allow for the return of the employee to former job status at a BLL < below 40 µg/dL. Recent medical findings indicate that lower blood lead levels (BLLs) in adults can result in adverse health effects including hypertension, cognitive dysfunction, and effects on renal function. These and other health effects (adverse female reproductive outcomes) are being identified in individuals with BLLs under 40 µg/dL. The lead standards for general industry and construction are based on lead toxicity information that is over 35 years old. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
standard; replace “minimum approach distance” with “minimum clearance distance” throughout to remove ambiguity; clarify the use of demarcated boundaries for work near power lines; correct an error permitting body belts to be used as a personal fall arrest system rather than a personal fall restraint system; replace the verb “must” with “may” used in error in several provisions; correct an error in a caption on standard hand signals; and resolve an issue of “NRTL-approved” safety equipment (e.g., proximity alarms and insulating devices) that is required by the final standard, but is not yet available.
among all adults be reduced to < less than 10 µg/dL.
OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO CRYSTALLINE SILICA; REVISIONS TO TABLE 1 IN THE STANDARD FOR CONSTRUCTION
OSHA is seeking public input from the public to help the
Standard Affected: 29 CFR 1926.1153(c)
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and California’s Medical Management recommends that BLLs
agency identify possible areas of the lead standards for revision to improve protection of workers in industries
Status: Proposed Rule Stage
and occupations where preventable exposure to lead
Expected Timeframe: March 2021
continues to occur.
Description (from agenda): On March 25, 2016, OSHA
AMENDMENTS TO THE CRANES AND DERRICKS IN CONSTRUCTION STANDARD
published a final rule on Occupational Exposure to
Standard Affected: 29 CFR 1926
general industry and maritime. The construction standard
Status: Proposed Rule Stage
includes Table 1: Specified Exposure Control Methods
Expected Timeframe: July 2020
Respirable Crystalline Silica (81 FR 16286). OSHA issued two separate standards, one for construction, and one for
When Working With Materials Containing Crystalline Silica, which matches common construction tasks with dust
Description (from agenda): Occupational Safety and
control methods that have been shown to be effective. In
Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing corrections and
some operations, respirators are also needed. Employers
amendments to the final standard for cranes and derricks
who follow Table 1 correctly are not required to measure
published in August 2010. The standard has a large number
workers’ exposure to silica and are not subject to the
of provisions designed to improve crane safety and reduce
permissible exposure limit (PEL).
worker injury and fatality. The proposed amendments: correct references to power line voltage for direct current
OSHA is interested in information on the effectiveness of control measures not currently included for tasks and tools
listed in Table 1. The agency is also interested in tasks and tools involving exposure to respirable crystalline silica that are not currently listed in Table 1, along with information on the effectiveness of dust control methods in limiting worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica when performing
OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO BERYLLIUM AND BERYLLIUM COMPOUNDS IN CONSTRUCTION AND SHIPYARD SECTORS Standard Affected: 29 CFR 1926.112
those operations. OSHA intends to evaluate the available
Status: Final Rule Stage
information to determine if revisions to Table 1 may be
Expected Timeframe: July 2020
WELDING IN CONSTRUCTION CONFINED SPACES Standard Affected: 29 CFR 1926.353
Description (from agenda): On January 9, 2017, OSHA published its final rule Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in the Federal Register (82 FR 2470). OSHA concluded that employees exposed to beryllium and beryllium compounds at the preceding
Status: Proposed Rule Stage
permissible exposure limits (PELs) were at significant risk of
Expected Timeframe: July 2020
material impairment of health, specifically chronic beryllium
Description (from agenda): OSHA is proposing to amend the Welding and Cutting Standard in construction to eliminate any perceived ambiguity about the definition of “confined space” that applies to welding activities in construction. On May 4, 2015, when OSHA published the final rule for Confined Spaces in Construction, a new subpart was added to provide protections to employees working in confined spaces in construction. This new subpart replaced OSHA’s one training requirement for confined space work with a comprehensive standard that includes a permit program designed to protect employees from exposure to many hazards associated with work in confined spaces, including atmospheric and physical hazards. The explanation of the final rule also discusses in detail how the Welding and Cutting Standard in Construction works together with the confined spaces standard regarding the application of their respective requirements. Although the confined spaces standard states that it encompasses welding activities, the welding standard itself does not expressly identify a definition of “confined space”. OSHA will conduct a rulemaking to eliminate any perceived ambiguity about the definition
disease and lung cancer. OSHA also concluded that the new 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) PEL of µg/m3 reduced this significant risk to the maximum extent feasible. OSHA has evidence that beryllium exposure in construction and shipyards occurs almost exclusively during abrasive blasting and welding operations. OSHA is proposing to revise its standards for occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in the construction and shipyards industries. These proposed changes are designed to accomplish three goals: (1) to more appropriately tailor the requirements of the construction and shipyards standards to the particular exposures in these industries in light of partial overlap between the beryllium standards’ requirements and other OSHA standards; (2) to more closely align the shipyards and construction standards to the general industry standard, where appropriate; and (3) to clarify certain requirements with respect to materials containing only trace amounts of beryllium.
DRUG TESTING PROGRAM AND SAFETY INCENTIVES RULE Standard Affected: 29 CFR 1904.35(b)(1)(iv)
of confined space that applies to welding activities in
Status: Proposed Rule Stage
Expected Timeframe: November 2020
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT IN CONSTRUCTION
Description (from agenda): OSHA clarified, through a
Standard Affected: 29 CFR 1926.95
memorandum to the field, the agency’s position that 29 CFR 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) does not prohibit post-incident drug testing or safety incentive programs. The agency would
Status: Proposed Rule Stage
propose memorializing OSHA’s position on these issues
Expected Timeframe: August 2020
through changes to 29 CFR 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) related to
Description (from agenda): This action would clarify the requirements for the fit of personal protective equipment in
implementation of post-incident drug testing and safety incentive programs.
CRANES AND DERRICKS IN CONSTRUCTION: EXEMPTION EXPANSIONS FOR RAILROAD ROADWAY WORK
Woman Dies And Four People Are Injured After 65ft Crane Collapses On Homes In East London 07.08.2020 | Dailymail.com by William Cole and Ross Ibbetson
Standard Affected: None Status: Final Rule Stage Expected Timeframe: June 2020 Description (from agenda): After the final rule for Cranes and Derricks in Construction was published on August 9, 2010, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) filed a petition for review on October 7, 2010, challenging certain exemptions affecting railroad roadway work. OSHA and AAR reached a September 9, 2014, settlement agreement filed with the court. The settlement agreement requires OSHA to propose a rule
• The crane collapsed on a site
One witness said she saw a ‘shivering
to expand exemptions affecting
where flats were being constructed
and shaking’ woman being led to
railroad roadway work by providing
and it decimated the roof of
safety after she was rescued from the
an additional exemption from the
houses in Bow
second floor by firefighters who had
crane standard for a particular class of track maintenance hoisting equipment and partial exemptions from, or alternate work practices in lieu of particular requirements of the cranes standard. This final rule will address compliance concerns raised by the railroad industry.
• London Ambulance Service said
scaled up ladders to the windows.
one person died and four others
Sahana Begum, who lives a few
injured after incident at 2pm
streets away, rushed outside when she
hard the crash. ‘I saw someone yelling
• A woman whose home was destroyed by the crane said in a
that a crane had fallen but then I could also hear someone saying
shaking voice that her family was
‘help, help, help’,’ she said.
lucky to be alive
At this point a few of the local
• The woman added: ‘If anyone had been inside the two rooms
people from the community tried to help her come down, including two
there they would have been
men with ladders.
Ms Begum said: ‘As she was coming
London Ambulance Service said one person died at the scene. Four others were injured, two were rushed to hospital with head injuries and the
down the ladder you could see that she was shivering. She was shivering so much that she could have fallen over because she looked like she was
others were treated on the street.
going to miss her step.’
It was reported earlier that firefighters
London Ambulance Service said
were trying to free at least one person who was believed to be trapped inside one of the two terraced houses struck by the crane.
one person died at the scene. Four others were injured, two were rushed to hospital with head injuries and the others were treated on the street.
It was reported earlier that firefighters were trying to free at least one person who was believed to be trapped inside one of the two terraced houses struck by the crane. One witness said she saw a ‘shivering and shaking’ woman being led to safety after she was rescued from the second floor by firefighters who had scaled up ladders to the windows.
structure’s impact felt ‘like an earthquake’. ‘I came out of the bathroom and if I had come out a second later, the attic door which is above could have fallen on me and that would have knocked me out.’ She said. ‘The way that everything fell - if my brother or sister had been in their rooms which is where it hit directly, I just
Sahana Begum, who lives a few streets away, rushed
cannot bear to think about it. If you could see the state of
outside when she hard the crash. ‘I saw someone yelling
that a crane had fallen but then I could also hear someone saying ‘help, help, help’,’ she said. At this point a few of the local people from the community tried to help her come down, including two men with ladders.
‘My dad was walking back into the house to tell everyone ‘move, there is a crane coming down.’ ‘If anyone had been inside the two rooms there, they would have been completely crushed. It is just lucky that one of
Ms Begum said: ‘As she was coming down the ladder you
my siblings was at work and the other one was downstairs.
could see that she was shivering. She was shivering so much
They would have been completely crushed.
that she could have fallen over because she looked like she was going to miss her step.’ She said she noticed that the woman was barefoot and a man gave her a pair of sandals.
‘It is all just so upsetting.’ Describing the devastation left in her home, she said: ‘There was just rubble and stuff in the doorway. There was smoke and just bits and bobs around. My mum was shouting for
‘She was really shaking,’ Ms Begum said, adding that at this
me because she thought it had hit me. She was screaming.
point police arrived and told people to move back.
I was screaming back.
A woman whose home was damaged by the crane said
‘I then realised my brother was downstairs and I need to grab
her family are lucky to be alive. In a shaking voice, the
whatever I can and just go. I am not sure how I managed to
woman who did not want to give her name, said the
run downstairs because there was stuff everywhere.
‘All the smoke alarms were going off. I went to the sitting
‘We have never experienced a situation like this before and
room. It sounded to me like an earthquake or almost like a
it is something that no organisation ever wishes to happen.
stone that someone had chucked into our home. We are all just so lucky to be alive - that is all I can really say.’ She was speaking from beside the police cordon, which had been thrown up inside the densely-packed inner city patch of the capital, but it was still in the shadow of a large crane that stood overhead. Pointing to the crane, she said: ‘Why is that up there, fully loaded and just waiting to hurt somebody? Have you heard the wind and felt how bad the wind has been lately? ‘They keep on building in crowded areas where people walk and live daily. What did they think was going to happen?’
‘We therefore stand ready to respond fully to support the investigation to understand what has occurred to cause this incident.’ A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said: ‘HSE is aware of the incident and is in contact with the emergency services.’ She was speaking from beside the police cordon, which had been thrown up inside the densely-packed inner city patch of the capital, but it was still in the shadow of a large crane that stood overhead. Pointing to the crane, she said: ‘Why is that up there, fully
She added: ‘How can people go back in their homes and
loaded and just waiting to hurt somebody? Have you heard
not feel traumatised? I can feel it all over my body right
the wind and felt how bad the wind has been lately?
now. I can feel that it is not right. I feel traumatised.’ Residents have been evacuated to a nearby school and emergency services work within the cordon at the scene.
‘They keep on building in crowded areas where people walk and live daily. What did they think was going to happen?’ She added: ‘How can people go back in their homes and
The crane that collapsed was being used by Swan Housing
not feel traumatised? I can feel it all over my body right
Association and NU living.
now. I can feel that it is not right. I feel traumatised.’
Swan Housing Association Chair Valerie Owen and Chief
Residents have been evacuated to a nearby school and
Executive John Synnuck said: ‘As Chair and Chief Executive
emergency services work within the cordon at the scene.
of Swan Housing Association, we are deeply saddened by the tragic incident which occurred at our Watts Grove construction site yesterday afternoon. ‘We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family who have lost their loved one as a result of the incident. Your loss is a personal tragedy. ‘We recognise that whilst understanding how this happened will not ease your pain, we would like to reassure you on behalf of our organisation that we will fully support the Health and Safety Executive and the authorities in their investigation so that you can receive a full, transparent answer to how this incident took place. ‘Our thoughts are also with those who were injured and their families. We wish them a speedy recovery. We are also thinking of the wider local community who have had to leave their homes as a safety precaution. ‘Our staff are on standby to help the Borough and Local Housing providers ensure that you are supported through this difficult time. ‘We would like to thank the emergency services for their swift and dedicated response and those who are supporting residents affected.
The crane that collapsed was being used by Swan Housing Association and NU living. Swan Housing Association Chair Valerie Owen and Chief Executive John Synnuck said: ‘As Chair and Chief Executive of Swan Housing Association, we are deeply saddened by the tragic incident which occurred at our Watts Grove construction site yesterday afternoon. ‘We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family who have lost their loved one as a result of the incident. Your loss is a personal tragedy. ‘We recognise that whilst understanding how this happened will not ease your pain, we would like to reassure you on behalf of our organisation that we will fully support the Health and Safety Executive and the authorities in their investigation so that you can receive a full, transparent answer to how this incident took place. ‘Our thoughts are also with those who were injured and their families. We wish them a speedy recovery. We are also thinking of the wider local community who have had to leave their homes as a safety precaution. ‘Our staff are on standby to help the Borough and Local Housing providers ensure that you are supported through this difficult time.
‘We would like to thank the emergency services for
Aerial footage shows how the huge metal structure ripped
their swift and dedicated response and those who are
through the roof into the top floors of the homes, with
supporting residents affected.
windows blowing open from the force of the impact.
‘We have never experienced a situation like this before and
‘This is a multi-agency response and is likely to be a
it is something that no organisation ever wishes to happen.
protracted incident. I would ask people to avoid the area.’
‘We therefore stand ready to respond fully to support the
Fire crews earlier deployed a drone to provide aerial
investigation to understand what has occurred to cause
imagery to aid the rescue operation.
this incident.’ A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said: ‘HSE is aware of the incident and is in contact with the emergency services.’
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said he was ‘extremely worried’ by the incident. ‘Council teams are on site supporting emergency services
Basil Long, a 39-year-old housing lawyer, lives opposite the
and setting up a rest centre for affected residents in the
construction site where the crane came down.
area. Our thoughts are with everyone affected. Priority is to
He said: ‘The crane fell 30 metres away. It fortunately fell the
ensure safety but need answers as to how this happened.’
other way on a construction site. It was a real shock, I saw it
The Metropolitan Police sent officers to the scene after they
fall. I had actually been in the bedroom at the time. There
were called at around 2.39pm on Wednesday to Gale
was a lot of shouting going on. I literally saw it topple over.
Street to a report of a crane that had collapsed into a
‘It was terrifying. You could see the people in the tower
residential property and a building site.
trying to run down as fast as they could.
Unite national officer Jerry Swain said there must be
‘After it came down, the site was evacuated and they got
‘an urgent, full and complete investigation into the
people out. I was evacuated at about 3.45pm. We got a
circumstances that led to this accident’.
knock on the door and said we
He added: ‘The preliminary findings of which must be
‘I’m still shaking. The newbuild is still being built. Thankfully I
released in weeks, rather than months or years, in order to
don’t think anyone was inside. The warning shouts came early
ensure that similar accidents are avoided in the future.’
enough that I think people had a chance to get away.’
Work on the Watts Grove site began in 2018 where the
Neighbour Bridget Teirney said: ‘Crane behind my building
one, two and three-bed shared ownership apartments are
just collapsed in Bow, London. At least one man crushed,
replacing an electrical substation building, according to
crane went through 2 house.’
the NU living website.
She added that the crane driver has ‘made it down safely’
Neil Marney, chief executive of Marney Construction, said
but that ‘one man, who is responding and being assisted by
his company was working on another site and he could see
fire and ambulance is still under the crane.’
the crane being erected on Tuesday.
A few minutes later she said that the man had been freed
He told PA: ‘My project manager on the site called me
and was being taken to hospital. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: ‘This is a tragedy. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim who died during this incident in Bow today. I sincerely hope
immediately and said the crane you were looking at yesterday being erected has just collapsed. ‘So all I could see yesterday was the mast and the cab was on, and then I believe they started to add sections of
that the four individuals injured make a full recovery.’
Assistant Commissioner Graham Ellis said earlier that Urban
The crane that collapsed was not one of Marney
Search and Rescue crews had begun a ‘complex rescue operation’ to search the two properties.
Construction’s cranes nor was it a crane on one of its sites.