DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Monday, May 28, 2012

OSHA Issues 'Call To Action' To New Jersey Construction Companies To Prevent Worker Falls

I recently spent two weeks in Massachusetts. As we were driving around I noticed a lot of construction -- they are still recovering from a hurricane, tornadoes and a devastating snow storm that all occurred in the past nine months.  Plus there is considerable new construction going on. I saw a lot of work being done on roofs and not one worker was using fall protection.

There has been considerable controversy about using fall protection when working on roofs. Some even say it increases the likelyhood of an accident.  (What do you think?)  This is an easy one to do inspections for, OSHA inspectors can just drive around.  Why wait until there are "incidents" as described in the OSHA press release below?  The objective is to prevent incidents.  What do you think? Should OSHA be more active in checking for fall protection for roofing work in states like Massachusetts?

The following is an OSHA press release about New Jersey that came out last week.

Following four recent construction incidents that took place in Northern New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is calling on construction companies to ensure that employees working above 6 feet have the proper equipment to protect themselves from falls on the job.

OSHA has opened investigations following a worker fall through a roof into a vat of acid in Clifton, N.J.; a worker fall from the roof on a residential construction site in Bayonne, N.J.; a worker fall while installing a steel frame in Madison, N.J.; and a worker fall from an aerial lift in Secaucus, N.J.

"This is a call to action for every contractor in the state," says Robert Kulick, , OSHA regional administrator in New York. "These incidents are tragic reminders of the dangers posed to workers when they are not adequately protected from fall hazards."

There are a number of ways to protect workers from falls, including guardrail systems, safety net systems and personal fall arrest systems, including properly anchored body harnesses and lanyards, as well as the use of safe work practices and thorough training. "Whether working on a roof, a scaffold or in an aerial lift, all workers must have and correctly use the proper equipment to prevent falls," Kulick adds.

In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a new campaign to provide employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and more than 250 workers were killed. OSHA's fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. More detailed information is available in English and Spanish on fall protection standards at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.

Related Past Posts:
OSHA Citing Individual Works For Construction Safety
Do OSHA Standards Increase The Cost Of New Homes?
Home Builders Say OSHA Rules Are Killing Business

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posted by Steve Hudgik
View This Post - (2 Comments)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This question continues to come up. OSHA can't be everywhere. If they have determined that a certain practice is unsafe, then they should enforce the standards they have created to eliminate the safety hazard. I'm assuming that the validity of OSHA standards can be challenged in court, but I can't call to mind whether that has ever actually happened. My questions are: How was the new standard created? Was there input from industry - the people who are the experts? Is the standard be enforced evenly and fairly?

4:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's with these people! Over and over I'm reading about people getting hurt. It's obvious that falling off a roof is dangerous. Why doesn't the government put these people out of business. If OSHA can't do it what about the justice department or the FBI. We've got to stop killing people at work.

7:34 AM  

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