April 24, 2014
By now, most of you have probably heard about OSHA's national safety stand-down, set for June 2-6, to raise awareness about falls in the construction industry. During the stand-down, OSHA is asking employers and workers to take a short break and discuss how falls at their workplaces are happening and how they can be prevented.
In Oregon, construction-related falls account for about 25 percent of compensable injury claims. The following timeline highlights falls that resulted in fatalities or serious injuries in 2013.
Here are some interesting statistics about work-related pedestrian fatalities over the past 10 years. There were 22 work-related pedestrian fatalities from 2004 to 2013. More than half of those workers died when vehicles struck them along the side of a road or highway. Six of those incidents involved semi-trucks that swerved or drifted onto the shoulder and struck a worker.
The basic methods for protection from cave-ins are sloping, benching, shoring, and shielding. Oregon OSHA's excavation standard requires that a registered professional engineer design the protective systems for excavations more than 20 feet deep; of course, most shoring and shielding systems manufactured today are designed by registered professional engineers.
If you're a craft worker in the masonry industry looking for information on hand tools and gloves, check out a new resource from the CPWR (The Center for Construction Research and Training).
Training and other outreach materials available from the site include guidebooks, toolbox talks, and handouts.
Oregon OSHA is proposing rulemaking to change its existing general industry and construction oxygen-fuel gas (oxy-fuel) welding and cutting rules. Under the proposed rulemaking, one new oxy-fuel rule would cover employers in general industry (Division 2) and construction (Division 3).
Two public hearings are scheduled for the proposed rulemaking:.
When a guardrail has balusters instead of a midrail, what is maximum allowed spacing between the balusters?
Keep in mind that openings in walls or partitions through which people could fall must be guarded if they are 30 (or more) inches high and 18 (or more) inches wide.
We know that building and maintaining communication towers is dangerous work. Of the 13 communication tower-related fatalities that occurred across the U.S. in 2013, the majority resulted from falls. This year, tower workers in the U.S. have also been injured or killed when towers collapsed, when their equipment failed, and by falling objects.
The annual one-day event is intended to raise awareness among employers and employees about workplace safety and its importance in preventing on-the-job injuries.
Companies planning to participate will be entered to win one of three $100 pizza luncheons when they sign up online by Friday, May 9. The Oregon SHARP Alliance is sponsoring the contest.
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But remember: the information in this newsletter is intended to highlight safe work practices, but it does not replace Oregon OSHA workplace safety and health rules.
For information about Oregon OSHA services and answers to technical questions, call (503) 378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, (800) 922-2689.