Four Major OSHA Mistakes to Avoid in 2020

Anybody who works in an industrial or manufacturing field knows how important OSHA compliance is. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for policing work sites for unsafe practices and any infraction can incur a major fine or even halt operations.

Maintaining perfect compliance is certainly a challenge, but knowledge and planning ahead can help. You need to ensure that you stay clear of any costly OSHA mistakes, including the following four common ones, as you head into 2020.

Lack of Fall Protection or Scaffolding

When you think about the risk of falling or the need for scaffolding, you might imagine a construction site and indeed these standards are important in the construction industry.

When it comes to fall risk, every industry needs to be proactive in preventing any potential accidents and maintaining OSHA standard compliance. If you are working at elevated heights, scaffolding is absolutely imperative to ensure safety and compliance.

Exposure to Respiratory Risk Without Protection

There are many environments where staff are exposed to respiratory risks, but this risk can usually be mitigated by the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If an employer does not provide PPE, employees may be exposed to such risks and suffer unnecessary injury.

It is vital that respirators be available and worn by staff in any area where there may be airborne hazards.

Insufficient or Improper Hazard Communication

Lack of hazard communication is yet another common OSHA infraction that must be avoided at all costs. Hazards are inevitable in the workplace, but if there is a known risk present, it is absolutely imperative that it be announced and identified properly.

Further, employers must provide clear instructions to employees in order to ensure they are able to avoid the hazard. Failure to comply with this OSHA standard is incredibly dangerous.

Risk of Lockout/Tagout

At some point, the machinery in your workplace will need to be serviced or repaired by a professional. Whether it’s quick routine maintenance or a lengthy repair, you need to ensure that the personnel completing the work is safe while they service the machine.

If a piece of equipment were to power on while it is being serviced, it would likely cause serious injury or even death to the maintenance professional. A lockout or tagout is used to isolate the energy produced by a machine or prevent its operation until the maintenance is complete.

Failure to utilize this precaution can be a deadly OSHA violation.

If you want to ensure all your bases are covered and you are OSHA compliant, Construction Safety Experts can help. Contact our team of professionals online or call  (866) 463-0669.

Visit sitesafetyexperts.com for a full list of our services and expertise today.

COVID-19 And Construction: Workplace Health Safety Best Practices

We find ourselves in trying times these days – afterall, who would have thought that we would begin 2020 with a global pandemic? And given the health climate, it is important that everyone does their part, in order to help prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus, best they can.

At a personal level, people are washing hands, wearing face masks and distancing themselves socially. While professionally, many businesses have begun working from home to prevent the spread.

Most construction businesses are continuing to work forward during this time and don’t have the option to practice Safe At Home guidelines, so it is vital that those, especially in management levels, practice safe protocols in order to protect their vendors, clients and employees. Don’t stress; we are here to help.

Here are some key factors to consider if you’re still managing projects.

COVID-19 Basics

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent COVID-19, is to avoid being exposed to this virus and person-to-person contact is the most common way the virus is transmitted.

The virus can be spread through respiratory drops when a person talks, sneezes or coughs. Unfortunately, not everyone who has the virus appears sick, and it can even take 2 to 14 days after exposure to have symptoms. There is no vaccine yet, nor any medication approved to treat COVID-19, so the best way to prepare ourselves, is to look at what we know for certain – the signs. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (or any other contagious illness for that matter) should self-isolate at home in order to best prevent spreading the illness.

Keeping a Construction Work Environment Safe

OSHA recently released “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” to help businesses prevent the spread. Keep in mind, some local communities have separate guidelines and it is up to your business to stay on top of any regulations that are being handed down. If your business is to continue being operational, you should be proactive in mitigating the spread of Coronavirus, by at the very least, doing the following:

  • Ensure your staff and contractors know to stay home if experiencing symptoms.
  • Ramp up your hygiene procedures. Clean surfaces with a disinfectant that combats the virus after contact – and regularly.
  • Establish a screening protocol at every work site to make sure that infected personnel don’t enter.
  • Limit people at each work site – avoid large gatherings.
  • Make sure each person at the work site washes their hands often or uses hand sanitizer.
  • Have a daily briefing to go over protocols. Give people time to follow decontamination procedures and make sure that distancing is being followed.
  • Track who comes and goes each day in case someone is symptomatic. You will need to contact everyone who was exposed.
  • Have a plan to shut down a work site if an employee or contractor does become infected. Take steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to prevent a complete shutdown of your business.

Get Help Implementing COVID-19 Procedures For Your Workplace

Learn more about COVID-19 workplace safety when you contact Construction sitesafetyexperts. We are a construction safety training and consulting company that can help you keep your team safe. Contact us online or call our office at (919) 463-0669 today!

How To Run an Effective Construction Safety Committee Meeting

In 2018 alone, more than 21% of all fatalities in the US occurred within the construction industry. Not surprisingly, construction is one of the most dangerous industries for people to work in when it comes to injuries and the risk of death.

This is an important fact that more employers need to tackle head on – and one of the first places to start is with your management team and how they are communicating with their crews. Unfortunately, safety committee meetings often fail to adequately address these issues.

So, if you’re looking for insight on how to run a quality and effective construction safety meeting, our team has provided a few tips that are on the top of our list. Check them out below.

  1. Show Commitment

Many employees feel that safety committee meetings are just a way for employers to save face or ensure basic compliance. When companies show true commitment to safety for both compliance and selfless reasons, employees might engage more in the process.

  1. Create a Designated Time

Construction is a busy industry that requires hands-on work. Because of this, safety committee meetings often get pushed to the back burner and resurface when everything else gets taken care of.

To show that it is a priority, set a specific time for these meetings and stick to that schedule.

  1. Make It Interactive

Construction is a serious industry, but there are times when employers can inject some topics of general interest into the experience. This is one of them. Employers can use specific themes for the meeting, such as sports or culture.

Elect leadership positions in the committee annually and give everyone the opportunity to participate in some way.

  1. Take Suggestions

Workers are in the best position to make suggestions on issues they want to tackle in the meetings and solutions they think might work. Workers can also vote on the themes you use, refreshments used for the meeting, when it takes place and several other factors.

Why leave everything up to the elected leaders alone when they can get free help?

  1. Bring in the Experts

There are many occupational sitesafetyexperts  who are only too willing to speak with workers and further educate them on how to stay safe. Invite them to the safety meetings to add more credence to the discussions. They are also often in the best position to answer questions both employers and employees might have.

  1. Ensure Followup

Do your safety committee meetings achieve all you set out to do by the end of them? There’s really no way to know without following up on the meeting. Many people joke about follow up meetings for regular meetings, but there is no need for this- especially when it comes to safety. Send out an email or allow people to submit anonymous survey responses.

One Step Further

Safety on the job requires a team effort. At Construction Safety Experts, we are committed to contributing to these team efforts. Contact us today for information on our free safety talks or to tap into other existing resources we have available – call (866) 463-0669 or visit safety-xperts.com today!

Construction Safety Experts Founder Terry Young Elected President of Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association

During the 2017 Annual Conference, April 18-22, at the Westin Kierland Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz., SC&RA elected Terry Young, Construction Safety Experts, Cary, N.C., as President.

» Read the May 2017 ACT Interview with Terry Young

View/Download the PDF ACT interview with Terry Young:
A conversation with new SC&RA President Terry Young
(PDF)

About Terry Young

  • President and CEO of Construction Safety Experts
  • 35 years of Construction Safety Experience
  • OSHA Instructor and OSHA VPP Star Assessor
  • President and Member of the Board of Directors of the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association
  • 2002 International Risk Management Association Gary E Bird Horizon Award Winner
  • Associates in Risk Management from the Insurance Institute
  • Author of more than 70 published Safety Articles