News Archive

LOCAL

GC & SC SAFETY ROUNDTABLE

October 16, 2019
Click here for Kevin Cannon’s presentation, ‘Best Practices from the 2019 AGCA Safety Award Entries and OSHA Updates and Forecasting.’
Click here for the 2018 NASA Award Recipients.

CONGRATULATIONS–NEBRASKA’S SAFEST COMPANIES 2019

Congratulations to the following Nebraska Building Chapter member firms for OUTSTANDING SAFETY ACHIEVEMENTS from Nebraska Safety Council for 2019!

Nebraska Safest Companies with Distinction Award Recipients
Safety records are 50% better than their industry National average
30 years Kiewit Building Group
12 years MCL Construction
9 years Darland Construction
4 years Danielson Incorporated
3 years Jeff MacTaggart Masonry

Nebraska’s Safety Companies Award Recipients
Safety records are better than their industry National average
11 years Seedorff Masonry, Inc.
7 years Falewitch Construction Services
3 years Midland Mechanical, Inc.
2 years Davis Erection
2 years Rasmussen Mechanical Services
1 year Beckenhauer Construction
1 year Continental Fire Sprinkler

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR CITES NEBRASKA EXCAVATING COMPANY AFTER TWO EMPLOYEES INJURED IN TRENCH COLLAPSE

LINCOLN, NE–The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited T.H. Construction Co. after two employees suffered serious injuries when a trench collapsed at a construction site in Lincoln, Nebraska. OSHA proposed penalties of $106,078 for one willful violation of its trench safety standards.

If you have an open trench OSHA is required to stop and do an inspection. Make sure your workers know what to say and what to do should a compliance officer walk on the job. If you are working on a job that has an open trench you can be inspected. Once a compliance officer is on the job they can do targeted inspection of only the trench or a comprehensive inspection and look at the entire project. Posted 5-2019

TRENCH SAFETY–TOP VIOLATIONS

Click here for PowerPoint presentation from April 4, 2019 Roundtable Discussion. Posted 4-2019

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Best Practice Strategies of a Workers’ Compensation Program–Click here for handout from December 5, 2018 GC & SC Program

National

​​MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH

May is Mental Health Awareness month and a great opportunity to highlight the importance of taking care of our emotional and mental wellbeing to our employees. Mental health is a huge component of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s (CIASP’s) suicide prevention efforts and one really cannot be addressed without the other. Because of this, we feel that May is the perfect time to take the pledge to STAND up for Suicide Prevention. Posted 5-2020

CELLPHONES NEGATIVELY AFFECTING JOBSITE PRODUCTIVITY, SAFETY

When managers at Camarata Masonry Systems in Houston recently had suspicions that phones were contributing to safety issues and a lack of productivity on jobsites, one of the company’s superintendents decided to test out the theory. He gathered cellphones from employees as they reported to the jobsite one day and held on to them until lunchtime, Camarata Safety Director Robert Brown told Construction Dive. Click to read. Posted 3-2020

10 BIGGEST OSHA FINES OF 2019

Last year, nine of the most expensive OSHA citations included some kind of fall protection violation, whether the company in question primarily performed roofing or mixed asphalt. The tenth mostly dealt with excavation and trenching violations. Click to read. Posted 2-2020

COLD WEATHER, COLD STRESS, AND HYPOTHERMIA

Working in cold conditions can be unpleasant, uncomfortable and even dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t followed. One risk is hypothermia, which the Mayo Clinic defines as “a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature.”

A person’s regular body temperature is about 98.6° F; hypothermia happens when a person’s body temperature falls below 95° F. Click to read. Posted 1-2020

ELECTRONIC FATIGUE MONITORING

Has anyone tried or had experience with electronic fatigue monitoring?
I have heard that the Marines use “fatigue sensing” technology in haul truck drivers. Click to read Posted 12-2019

 

OSHA ISSUES TEMPORARY ENFORCEMENT POLICY FOR CRANE OPERATOR CERTIFICATIONS ISSUED BY CRANE INSTITUTE CERTIFICATION (CIC)

OSHA requires crane operators engaged in construction activity to be certified by an entity accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. CIC no longer holds such accreditation. To avoid industry confusion and potential disruptions of construction projects, OSHA has issued an enforcement policy for crane operator certifications issued by CIC.

The policy explains that, although CIC-issued certifications are not compliant with OSHA’s operator certification requirement, OSHA does not intend to cite employers for operating equipment that violates that requirement if their operators, in good faith, obtained CIC-issued certifications prior to December 2, 2019, with the belief the certifications met the standard’s requirements. Until further notice, OSHA will not accept CIC certifications – including re-certifications – issued on or after December 2, 2019. For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703)837-5410 or kevin.cannon@agc.org. Posted 12-2019

 

AGC AND AUTODESK LAUNCH GRANT PROGRAM TO HELP FIRMS PROVIDE SAFETY HARNESSES DESIGNED WITH WOMEN IN MIND

AGC of America and Autodesk are launching a new, $75,000 grant program to help member firms provide safety harnesses for women. The grant program is designed to help firms attract more women into the construction profession while continuing to meet the highest levels of workplace safety. As part of that effort, winning firms will be selected based on their ability to leverage relatively small grant awards to attract more women and provide them with appropriately sized safety harnesses. AGC is accepting applications until January 10, 2020Click here to learn more about the grant program and apply. Posted 12-2019

 

THE OSHA INSPECTION PROCESS

OSHA has a new video that explains how the inspection process is helping to keep workers safe. The video is available in English and Spanish.  Posted 11-2019

 

‘HUMAN ERROR’ CITED FOR DEADLY GOOGLE SEATTLE CRANE COLLAPSE, 3 FIRMS FINED $107K

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries indicated that workers took shortcuts when dismantling the crane in April, which made it more susceptible to the wind that toppled it, taking four lives. Read More  Posted 11-2019

 

THE TOP OSHA FINES OF Q3 2019

Excavation, fall and trenching hazards dominate the list, although there is one entry that deals with asbestos violations. Read More Posted 10-2019

 

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TINKERS WITH WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE SAFETY, CUT COSTS

The way Dennis Mullen, New England safety director for Gilbane Building Co., describes it: “Everything we work with is either hard, hot, sharp or heavy.” Add in the fact that much of the workday can be spent high above the ground or around high-wattage power tools and heavy machinery, and the chance of an accident is even more likely. To mitigate those risks, a growing number of construction firms are experimenting with wearable technology and the internet of things to enhance their workplace safety efforts. Read More Posted 10-2019

 

WAKING UP TO THE RISKS OF WORKPLACE FATIGUE

The failure to prioritize rest is a growing concern – and taking a toll on U.S. workers. “Most employers underestimate how little sleep deprivation is necessary to result in detrimental outcomes,” one expert says. Read More Posted 10-2019

 

COURT UPHOLDS OSHA’S RESPIRATORY PROTECTION STANDARD

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard was upheld last week by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that employers must properly evaluate potential respiratory hazards to determine if a respirator is needed and what type is appropriate. The ruling came after ten years of appeals from OSHA and marine vessel repair company Seward Ship’s Drydock, which offered respirators to welders on a voluntary basis in 2009. Read More Posted 10-2019

 

NEW FOOTWEAR SAFETY STANDARDS TAKE EFFECT IN OCTOBER

The deadline for complying with three new ASTM International safety standards for footwear is next month. The new rules cover performance requirements for protective toe cap footwear and soft-toe protective footwear and testing for foot protection. Posted 9-2019

 

HOW TO CREATE A CULTURE OF SAFETY

Implementing a culture of safety can help address risk, according to Donna Chrobak, vice president at Summit Recognition Solutions. “Creating a culture of safety requires understanding the hazards in your working environments, defining processes for minimizing the risk of accidents, and creating a culture of safe working and reciprocal protection between employees,” she writes. Read More Posted 9-2019

 

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH—

OSHA’s Emergency Preparedness and Response webpage provides information to protect workers responding to hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters. Posted 9-2019

Nebraska Preparedness Partnershiphttps://www.neprep.org/about/ established in 2014 for the purpose of engaging Nebraska businesses, critical infrastructure, key resources, and citizens. NPP will build the readiness of private stakeholders in Nebraska to prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover from disasters through advocacy, training, and public partnerships. Posted 9-2019

 

PRESCRIPTION OPIOID AND HEROIN EPIDEMIC AWARENESS WEEK—SEPTEMBER 16-22, 2019

Nebraska Receives $4 Million To Fight Opioid Addiction Crisis
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new federal funding to combat the opioid addiction crisis, including $4 million for the state of Nebraska. Read More posted 9-2019

 

OSHA ISSUES RFI TO EXPAND TABLE 1 OF THE SILICA STANDARD

Aug. 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a request for information (RFI) seeking information on additional engineering and work practice control methods that effectively limit exposure to silica for the equipment and tasks currently listed on Table 1. In addition to seeking information on existing equipment and tasks, OSHA is also requesting information about other construction equipment and tasks that generate silica that should be considered for inclusion on Table 1. Expanding Table 1 to include additional engineering and work practice controls, equipment, and tasks could provide employers with more flexibility and reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining protections for employees. If information submitted in response to their request indicates that revisions to the silica standards are needed, OSHA will then publish the proposed revisions in the Federal Register for public comment. AGC is working with its members, chapters, and coalition partners to submit comments in response to the RFI. Comments are due by October 15, 2019.

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org or Nazia Shah at (703) 837-5409 or nazia.shah@agc.org. Posted 8-2019

 

CONSTRUCTION WEARABLES’ FUTURISTIC FEATURES ARE MORE FEASIBLE THAN YOU THINK

The technology can help prevent accidents, improve efficiencies and enhance quality of life for construction workers, says an insurance official working with contractors on pilot programs. Click to ReadPosted 8-2019

 

OSHA SAFE + SOUND WEEK—AUGUST 12-18, 2019

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace safety and health programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe. Click here for more information. Posted 8-2019

 

6 SUMMER WORKPLACE HAZARDS

Hazards related to heat exposure aren’t just because of the sun.
OSHA is reminding employers to address workplace hazards that lead to a higher instance of injuries and fatalities during summer months.
The agency provides practical advice on how an organization can integrate procedures into their safety and health programs.
“OSHA encourages employers to develop safety and health programs, hold safety stand-downs and toolbox talks, and conduct daily safety meetings to discuss common hazards,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille in Kansas City, Mo. “Employers are required to provide workplace safety training to improve employees’ ability to identify, evaluate, and effectively prevent safety and health hazards on the job.”
Risks in agricultural operations have been at their highest in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska in July, August, and September in the past three years, according to the agency.
Click here to view the slideshow to learn six hazards that peak during summer months. Posted 8-2019

 

HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN OSHA’S CONFINED SPACE REGULATIONS

It is important for contractors to understand the differences between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s general industry and construction industry standards for confined spaces, writes Clare Epstein. In this guide, Epstein explores the main differences between the two standards and the criteria that determine which standard should be observed. Click to Read  Posted 7-2019

 

THE TOP OSHA FINES OF Q2 2019

Once again, fall-related violations were behind most of the biggest fines OSHA issued to construction companies in the second quarter of this year, but burn and asbestos hazards made a showing as well. Click to Read  Posted 7-2019

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR WORKFORCE AGAINST NOISE-INDUCED HEARING LOSS

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2017, employers were required to pay more than $1.5 million in penalties for not adequately protecting workers from noise exposure; an estimated $242 million is spent annually on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability; and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) affects nearly one in four adults in the United States. NIHL is preventable, but the effect is permanent and can seriously impair a worker’s quality of life. Click to Read  Posted 7-2019

 

DOL, OSHA ANNOUNCE MEMBERS OF SOON-TO-MEET CONSTRUCTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Washington — The Department of Labor named the 15 members of its Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health in a June 17 Federal Register notice, adding that ACCSH will meet July 17-18, in the nation’s capital.

The committee advises DOL and OSHA on upcoming standards affecting the construction industry and “the administration of safety and health provisions” in the Construction Safety Act.

The committee members are:
Employee representatives:
Palmer L. Hickman, Electrical Training Alliance
Randall A. Krocka, Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust
Mark S. Mullins, Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund
Richard Tessier, United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers Representative, Research and Education Joint Trust
Christina Trahan Cain, North America’s Building Trades Unions

Employer representatives:
Kevin Cannon, Associated General Contractors of America (ACCSH Chair)
Fravel Combs, M. A. Mortenson Co.
Cindy DePrater, Turner Construction Co.
Greg Sizemore, Associated Builders and Contractors
Wesley L. Wheeler, National Electrical Contractors Association

Public representatives:
Christopher Fought, General Motors LLC
R. Ronald Sokol, Safety Council of Texas City

State representatives:
Christopher Mabry, North Carolina Department of Labor
Charles Stribling, Kentucky Labor Cabinet Department of Workplace Standards

Federal representative:
G. Scott Earnest, NIOSH

Among the agenda items for the July meeting are adding a reference to the definition of “confined space” that applies to welding activities and clarifying the fit requirements for personal protective equipment. Posted 6-2019

 

OSHA CRANE OPERATOR EVALUATION REQUIREMENT

The ConstructorCast’s latest episode ex-plores OSHA’s recent crane operator evaluation requirements. We sit down with Kevin Canon, AGC’s Director of Safety & Health, for all the important details you need to know to ensure your firm is in compliance as the requirements take full effect and beyond. Click here to download or stream. Posted 4-2019

 

LEAN STRATEGY WEAVES SAFETY INTO CONSTRUCTION

Managers can limit injuries on construction work sites through lean safety strategies, says Henry Nutt III of Southland Industries. “What makes operating a site under Lean principles different and inherently safer than other sites is the active role that each team member takes, along with the understanding that all voices have equal representation when it comes to creating a project flow that maximizes value and minimizes waste,” he writes. Read More  Posted 3-2019

 

HOW COMPANIES CAN ENSURE THEIR SAFETY STRATEGIES SUCCEED

It’s important for organizations not only to have a safety strategy but also to ensure that their safety policies don’t conflict with production strategies, Terry Mathis writes. Employers must decide how they will engage employees in safety efforts, obtain buy-in from employees at all levels and define metrics that will help them meet their goals. Read More  Posted 2-2019

 

NEW IBM PLATFORM HELPS ASSESS WORKER SAFETY

IBM is partnering with Garmin, Guardhat, Mitsufuji and SmartCone on a connected-devices platform that uses real-time data from smart devices and sensors to evaluate worker safety. The onset of the internet of things in construction could help companies improve upon the 2.8 million workers who reported a nonfatal workplace injury in 2017. Read More  Posted 3-2019

 

CONTRACTORS CONSIDER TECHNOLOGY’S EFFECTS ON WORK-SITE SAFETY

Contractors are split on the high-tech safety applications of technology such as wearables and drones, with some saying they may be a good fit for larger work sites but not a necessity for smaller projects. Regardless of technology, though, it’s important to get workers to buy into safety procedures from the start, says Rodney Spencley, DPR Construction’s corporate director of safety, quality and labor relations. Read More  Posted 2-2019

 

OSHA’S TOP 10 VIOLATIONS FOR 2018

At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Houston, Texas, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the agency’s top 10 violations for fiscal year (FY) 2018 to a standing-room-only crowd of safety professionals. While the list—particularly its top half—is largely familiar from previous years, one standard made an appearance for the first time. Read More  Posted 2-2019

 

AGC CONSTRUCTOR CAST: THE OPIOID CRISIS & CONSTRUCTION

According to a recent article in Constructor Magazine, Federal statistics show in 2016, 11.5 million people misused prescription opioids and 116 people died every day from an opioid-related overdose. On this edition of the ConstructorCast, four industry panelists discuss the opioid epidemic and provide resources and insight on this important issue. Posted 2-2019

 

SENATE APPROVES AGC-BACKED PACKAGE TO COMBAT OPIOID EPIDEMIC

On Sept. 17, 2018, the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan bill targeting policy changes to help reverse the current opioid crisis. AGC-supported changes in the bill, which include increasing the number of mental health and substance abuse professionals, providing job training and treatment services to individuals with substance use disorders, and providing support for recovering individuals to transition back into the workforce. Read More »