Mobility and construction: making better decisions

In today’s day and age, technology is the key to profitable project management. Mobile devices and construction software have been developed to improve operational efficiencies not only in the office but in the field as well.  Contractors who have implemented software to perform inspections, replacing spreadsheets, have noticed a positive difference to their bottom line. Mobile devices are now becoming much more accessible and affordable and allow the construction industry to become more efficient, see value into true numbers, and gain the ability to find a profit in every job.

In recent years, Construction businesses have witnessed a theme showing the important lessons come from companies enduring challenges and being pushed to their limits. Since then business owners have realized survival of the fittest is not determined by being the most well-known name in the market or simply just doing the best work. Rather, it is management through efficiency.

Efficiency Read more...

The culture of denial, workplace injuries and lessons learned

Try to imagine this workplace injury scenario: A construction worker is seriously hurt on the job. It’s a very minor injury. Years later, under similar circumstances, a worker is killed from a similar incident. Why didn’t the company learn from the first incident?

Recent research in the International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics suggests three barriers to learning from previous workplace injuries and how companies can overcome them. In Workplace accidents as a source of knowledge: opportunities and obstacles, author Hernani Neto of the Univeresity of Porto, Portugal, suggests workplace injuries and other safety incidents must be understood as a source of knowledge.

However, here is another point that companies need to understand: Safety incidents don’t automatically become an effective source of knowledge. Companies have to work at it. Just because a company suffered a close call or an incident with an employee suffering only minor injuries doesn’t mean … Read more...

OSHA extends fall protection enforcement measures, new approaches to preventive safety, a cool cadmium tool and more on EHS This Week

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • OSHA extending fall protection enforcement measures for construction.
  • New approaches to proactive health and safety through design.
  • OSHA’s new cadmium tool and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

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OSHA bumps fall protection enforcement period to March 2013

Attention home builders! If you were expecting to face more stringent fall protection measures next week, you’ve got a bit of a reprieve. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) announced yesterday it is extending its temporary enforcement measures on fall protection through to March 15, 2013.

Previously, OSHA had planned to enforce its new Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction next week. However, potentially influenced by call from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), OSHA decided to push the temporary enforcement measures by three months. These measures can be thought of as a means by which OSHA eases the home-building industry into compliance with the new residential construction rules, which calls for increased fall protection for workers engaged in operations six feet or more above lower levels.

The temporary enforcement measures offer employers:

  • Priority free on-site compliance assistance.
  • Penalty reductions.
  • Extended abatement dates.
  • Measures to ensure consistency.
  • Increased
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US Labor Department’s OSHA exposes safety and health hazards at construction sites through no-notice incident prevention campaign

This release has been reposted from www.dol.gov.

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has concluded its 2012 “Construction Incident Prevention Initiative,” during which it issued 243 citations and assessed a total of $658,862 in proposed fines to companies on construction sites throughout the agency’s Philadelphia Region.

The four-month campaign included 545 no-notice inspections focused on falls, trenches and silica exposure. Fifty-nine percent of the inspections revealed violations, some of the most common of which are failing to use fall protection when working on roofs, ensure that scaffolds are constructed safely and protect trenches from collapse.

“This alarmingly high number of violations underscores the need for employers in the construction industry to make a stronger commitment to workplace safety and health,” said MaryAnn Garrahan, OSHA’s regional administrator in Philadelphia. “Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces, and will be held legally accountable … Read more...

Record-setting Gulf Oil Spill settlement, Alberta Construction industry fights proposed legislation, huge global wind power potential and more EHS This Week

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • The record-setting Deepwater Horizon settlement.
  • Alberta Construction Association fights proposed legislation.
  • Staggering news on global wind power potential and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

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New Intelex Case Study: BA Blacktop

We’re excited to share our recently released case study regarding BA Blacktop’s success with Intelex’s Quality Nonconformance and Standard Safety Incidents applications.  With unique objectives to streamline and unify their Quality and Safety management programs to improve tracking and monitoring processes, BA Blacktop turned to Intelex to help them achieve these goals.  The end result was remarkable, including a 56% reduction in spills since 2009, noticeable improvements in insurance premiums over the past 3 years, and 18% reduction in motor vehicle accidents since 2009 to name a few.

To learn more on how BA Blacktop utilized Intelex solutions to ensure a strong reputation and driving force towards success in the construction industry, check out the case study today! 

Download today!Read more...

OSHA and Ontario inspection blitzes, proposed penalty increases, Supreme Court EPA GHG decision and more on EHS This Week

Once again, we are bringing you the top stories in environment, health and safety news. This week, among other things, we’ll discuss:

  • The Elliot Lake mall collapse disaster in Ontario, Canada.
  • Big Supreme Court news that is poised to move the battle over greenhouse gases back to Congress.
  • Workplace safety inspection blitzes by both OSHA and the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
  • Timely OSHA warnings for the Pyrotechnic Industry and a whole lot more.

Remember that you can always write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

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Start preparing for new OSHA fall protection requirements now

A Roof

In an effort to curb the startling statistic that 40 workers are killed in the U.S. every year as a result of falls from residential roofs, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has set a deadline for implementation of new fall safety requirements for June 16, 2011.

The directive will require any residential builder, coast to coast, engaged in construction projects more than six feet from the ground (or lower levels, on low-slope roofs, steep roofs, etc.) to comply with 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13). The requirement basically calls for conventional fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety net systems, professional fall arrest systems, or other fall protection measured spelled out in 1926.501(b).

The new rules replace the 1995 Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, guidelines that allowed many residential builders to ignore fall safety requirements.

Three of OSHA’s Top 10 most frequently cited standards in 2010 pertained to … Read more...

I2P2, hazardous chemicals, high-risk construction among top OSHA prioritied for 2011

OSHA Secretary of Labour Dr. David Michaels gave a sneak peak of some of OSHA’s top priorities for 2011 in a recent online chat facilitated by the Department of Labour (DOL).

Here’s a list of some of the highlights from the 2011 Agenda that Michaels touched on in his talk:

Injury and Illness Prevention Program

In the works for some time, OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) will require employers to implement a comprehensive program that addresses all aspects of injury and illness prevention, including detailed planning, implementation and evaluation processes and activities that ensure health and safety for all employees.

Michaels indicated that this is OSHA’s highest priority for 2011 and said the next step is the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process – which helps small businesses implement regulations – targeted for June 2011. While no date has been set for the eventual regulation that … Read more...