Safety in the Construction Industry

Construction workers banned from site after woman injured in ‘flying chisel’ accident

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A construction company honored last year for its safety program has banned seven of its workers from a New York City worksite, after a flying jack hammer chisel from the project shattered a window in a neighboring building and injured a woman.


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Recent fatalities are reminders of demolition hazards

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A construction worker helping to demolish a Blockbuster Video building June 20th in New Jersey was trapped and killed when the last standing wall collapsed on top of him. Six months earlier, a 25-year-old construction worker in Chicago was struck and killed by pieces of falling concrete while conducting renovations on a shopping mall.


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Fla. worker trapped, injured in trench collapse

Management repeatedly warned of unsafe conditions
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A company whose employee was critically injured in a trench collapse repeatedly ignored warnings that the excavation was unsafe – including one on the day of the incident. An employee of R.E. Arnold Construction Inc. was trapped when the wall of an excavation he was working in collapsed around him as he was removing dirt from a storm filtration system.


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Three stories up with no fall protection

Employees at Brooklyn demolition site faced potentially fatal falls
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Workers demolishing a three-unit, three-story residential building in Brooklyn's Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section were exposed to potentially fatal falls due to their employer's failure to provide and ensure the use of lifesaving fall protection. As a result, OSHA has proposed $45,200 in penalties against Brooklyn contractor US Demco of Brooklyn Inc. for one willful and seven serious violations of workplace safety standards.


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Two Alabama workers fall 90’ to their deaths

Company fined $54,000
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The employer of two workers who died while working on a freeway overpass has been cited by OSHA for four safety violations. R.R. Dawson Bridge Co. LLC exposed workers to fall hazards, failed to provide employees working near the bridge's edge with required fall protection and failed to inspect employee fall arrest systems before use, according to OSHA investigators.


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OSHA levied $20+ million in proposed penalties for fall protection violations in FY 2013

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Fall protection (1926.501) was the most frequently-cited OSHA standard in fiscal year 2013 – specially the period October 2012 through September 2013. OSHA conducted 7,900 inspections involving the fall protection standards, a very high number compared to almost any other agency rule, and due to the fact OSHA devotes about half of its inspections to construction sites.


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National fall prevention “Stand-Down” success stories

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The June 2-6, 2014 National Safety Stand-Down was a resounding success, according to the Center for Protection of Worker Rights (CPWR). Here are three case studies:


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How to work safely on scaffolds and ladders — a checklist

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• Has the most suitable equipment been selected to ensure safety, including for access and evacuation? • Are ladders only used when other equipment is not justified in view of the short length and low risk of the task? •Is the scaffold erected on a firm foundation?


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OSHA's three keys to fall prevention: Plan, Provide & Train

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According to OSHA, falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: plan, provide and train. OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) - Construction Sector on a widely publicized nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about common fall hazards in construction, and how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved.


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How to work safely on roofs

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Falls from heights are the most common cause of injury and death. Causes include: working on a scaffold or platform without guard rails or without a safety harness correctly attached; fragile roofs; and ladders that are badly maintained, positioned and secured.


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