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Fit-Testing for the New Silica Standard

Posted 7:50 PM by

Here is one of our clients conducting fit-testing requirements for the new OSHA silica standard. This is a great example of qualitative fit-testing procedures. That’s what we like to see!

 



 

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Orlando International Airport Project

Posted 5:32 PM by


A member of our team is assisting with an ongoing project at the Orlando International Airport. Here are some great aerial shots of the project so far. Big thanks to Turner-Kiewit for sharing, and keep up the good work!

 


 

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Let's Hear It For Safe Roofing!

Posted 6:38 PM by

 

Great example of safety in the field by one of our clients in Indianapolis. Here, our clients are wearing a fall protection harness and using cut-resistant gloves while using a cutting tool. That's what we like to see! Photo by: Ryan Bruner, safety consultant
 

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OSHA's New Silica Rule: Don't Be Left in the Dust

Posted 6:25 PM by

OSHA’s New Silica Rule: Don’t Be Left in the Dust

By: Mark Williams, Safety Consultant 

Beginning September 23, 2017 the long awaited OSHA silica standard (29 CFR 1926.1153) update will go into effect. The new standard has been redesigned with the purpose of providing workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica with the maximum protection possible. The standard is set up to allow employers to use predetermined compliance solutions (outlined in Table 1) or to design their own for their particular workplaces and job functions. With the new standard, employers must make some key changes to their silica policies in order to maintain OSHA compliance and provide their workers a safer environment in regard to silica exposure.

The update reduces the permissible exposure limit of crystalline silica from 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an 8-hour TWA to 50 micrograms over the same. OSHA has put together a chart “Table 1” on recommended control practices for a list of commonly performed tasks known to expose workers to silica. For employers following the control methods in OSHA Table 1, no further air quality testing is required unless it is noted the Table 1 control method is not effective and noticeable amounts of silica dust are still present. For employers that elect to utilize alternative control methods, industry-wide objective data must be available demonstrating exposure levels are below the levels mentioned in the standard. If such data is unavailable, exposure assessments must be conducted to prove exposure levels are below the action level. Exposure assessments must be conducted and reviewed to determine if the control method is effectively reducing workers’ exposure to below the action level of 25µg/m3 .   

Where results do not reveal exposure levels are below the action level, employers must conduct ongoing assessments to monitor workers’ exposure levels and compare results while instituting other effective control methods.

Regardless of the exposure control method of choice, all construction employers affected by this standard must complete the following core steps:

 

·Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks which expose employees to respirable crystalline silica and the methods the employee plans to use to protect workers.

·Designate a competent person who will implement the exposure control plan.

·Train employees on effective practices to limit exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

·Adjust housekeeping practices to minimize worker exposure to silica dust by eliminating dry    sweeping and compressed and using a HEPA-filtered vacuum system or wet method.

·Provide medical exams to employees that are exposed to silica dust to such an extent that they  must wear a respirator 30 or more days a year.

·File and maintain records of workers’ silica exposure and any related medical treatment.

 

For more information on what this new rule means for your industry or company or assistance with compliance, contact Safety Resources, Inc.  

 

References:

 

OSHA.gov. OSHA Fact Sheet “OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Rule: Construction.”

Slowey, Kim. “What contractors need to know about OSHA’s new silica rule.” constructiondive.com. 22 Aug. 2017.  

 

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Do you know where your utility installations are located? Knowing can save your life

Posted 4:26 PM by

The Importance of Utility Locates

By: Neil Spaeth, Safety Consultant

About Utilities

On a continual basis, utilities are involved in a vast majority of construction related activities including, but not limited to: excavation and trenching, the use of material handling equipment, crane lifts, and demolition. Per OSHA’s Excavation standard, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P, employers are required to:

- Determine the approximate location(s) of utility installations — including sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, and water lines. One common industry practice is to call 8-1-1, the “Call Before You Dig” number, to establish the location of any underground utility installations in the work area.

 

- Contact and notify the utility companies or owners involved to inform them of the proposed work within established or customary local response times.

 

- Ask the utility companies or owners to establish the location of underground installations prior to the start of excavation work. If they cannot respond within 24 hours (unless the period required by state or local law is longer) or cannot establish the exact location of the utility installations, employers may proceed with caution, which includes using detection equipment or other acceptable means to locate utility installations.

 

- Determine the exact location of underground installations by safe and acceptable means when excavation operations approach the approximate location of the installations.

 

- Ensure that while the excavation is open, underground installations are protected, supported, or removed as necessary in order to safeguard workers.

 

The Dangers of Not Knowing Utility Locations

Due to the continual efforts of improving or renovating existing properties, a number of hazards can present themselves if existing utility locations are not known prior to beginning work. This includes but is not limited to electrocution caused from underground electrical conduit and natural gas released into the atmosphere and surrounding work crews. In fact, if an operator or work crew is instructed to dig in an area in which utility locations are not known, the operator can subject themselves to an unexpected reaction leading to equipment failure or unstable soil.

 

In recent years, OSHA has stated that one of the leading causes of excavation or trenching related injuries is not providing a protective system. This includes pre-planning involving the location of nearby utilities. 

 

 

                                                  

 

Methods of Protection

        Locate Utilities

811 is an available resource with an office in each state. With proper pre-planning, 811 can provide services to locate the approximate location of each utility.

        Plan, Plan, Plan

Prior to beginning work, develop a site specific safety plan outlining each step including: locating each utility, digging methods, spotting and communication efforts. After this is developed, a good plan of action is to communicate this plan with the work crew prior to each day’s digging activities.

        Never Assume

A best practice to communicate to your work crews, particularly when dealing with utilities, is to ensure that the prior steps are being taken to protect each worker. This might include a company-specific practice involving Lockout / Tagout strategies, or the utilization of monitoring equipment while on the job site.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The importance of workers donning personnel protective equipment (PPE) takes on an added dimension with the threat from hidden utilities on the jobsite. Many manufacturing facility managers, owners, and employees are unaware of the fire hazards from combustible dust. These hazards are found in environments where workers can sustain life-threatening burns from natural gas explosions, flash fires, electrocution, and flying particle hazards related to pressurized equipment. PPE is a necessary precaution and strategy used as an added layer of protection. The most useful strategy in selecting the correct PPE is to conduct a workplace job hazard analysis of each job title to ensure each hazard is known, evaluated, and prevented.


 

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Solar Eclipse 2017!

Posted 2:20 PM by

Hope everyone had a great time seeing the eclipse safely! We had a great view from downtown. 

 



 

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Great example of client use of PPE on walking working surfaces

Posted 7:27 PM by

We believe in a collaborative approach to utilizing personal protective equipment while on unstable walking working surfaces. Photo by: Neil Spaeth, safety consultant

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The Races of Man at Holliday Park

Posted 7:45 PM by

Safety work being performed by our client in the background of the Races of Man at Holliday Park.

History of the Races of Man

Holliday Park
 

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Senior Living Construction

Posted 7:36 PM by

“What you do you do with an old gymnasium?  Convert it into senior Living.”



 

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In the Field - Soldiers and Sailors Monumnet

Posted 7:31 PM by

Working safely from suspended scaffold with the reflection of “Liberty” overseeing the work from atop of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.



 

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In the Field - Sands School Cincinnati

Posted 1:34 PM by

Rehabilitation ongoing at the old Sands School in Cincinnati.

Soon to be a senior living complex in Spring of 2016.

Cincinnati OH aerial lift

 

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Overlooking the Circle

Posted 3:45 PM by

In the field, overlooking Indianapolis's beautiful circle.

Indianapolis CirclePhoto Credit: Tim Foulks

 

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Safety near the Kentucky River

Posted 9:42 PM by

Out in the field again, this time near the Kentucky River. A barge passing through a canal lock on the Kentucky River.

Kentucky River Safety

Photo Credit: Karl Weisser

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R&T Lofts in Des Moines Iowa

Posted 4:14 PM by

Did you know we do work nationally across the United Sates?

Site Management discussing upcoming work at the R&T Lofts in Des Moines Iowa.

Iowa Safety

 

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New Cummins Distribution Center Indy

Posted 8:35 PM by

The new Cummins Distribution Center project overlooking downtown Indy. Highlighting the various temporary guardrail systems around the project. 

Cummins Indy

Photo Credit: Aaron Wissen

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