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Trench Safety Collapsed in 2016

in News

Death and injury from mishaps in trenches spiked this year after a multi-year downward trend. More construction workers died in trenches this year than in any of the previous five years.

“Trench deaths have more than doubled nationwide since last year – an alarming and unacceptable trend that must be halted,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “There is no excuse. These fatalities are completely preventable by complying with OSHA standards that every construction contractor should know.”

Nationwide, 23 workers were killed by collapsing trenches this year, compared to 11 killed in 2015. Another 12 workers suffered injury. Trench collapses injured three workers in metro St. Louis so far this year.

According to news reports, the St. John Fire Department responded to a report of a trench collapse at an MSD construction site in north St. Louis County on April 14. They pulled a worker out of a trench, after which she was taken to a hospital with non-life injuries.

On May 3, St. Louis firefighters rescued a man from an 18-foot-deep trench in St. south Louis after a collapse trapped him for almost five hours.

And on July 15, St. Louis firefighters rescued a construction worker from a 20-foot-deep trench on another MSD construction site after mud and dirt buried him up to his waist. He was trapped for an hour.

In a sense, all three of those workers were lucky. According to OSHA, trench collapses are rarely survivable. One cubic yard of soil can weigh up to 3,000 lbs. – the weight of a small automobile – giving a worker in a trench little chance of survival when walls of soil collapse.

 

OSHA Requests Nominations for Advisory Committee on Construction Safety & Health

in Associations/News

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is accepting nominations for eight new members to serve on the 15-member Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health. Nominations will be accepted from those interested in representing employee (3), employer (3), public (1) and state safety and health agency (1) groups. Nominations may be submitted at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submissions may also be sent by mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for details. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 27, 2017.

ACCSH, established under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, advises the secretary of labor and assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on construction standards and policy matters.

OSHA Releases Updated Recommended Practices to Encourage Workplace Safety & Health Programs

in Associations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a set of Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs to help employers establish a methodical approach to improving safety and health in their workplaces.

The recommendations update OSHA’s 1989 guidelines to reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues. The recommendations, according to OSHA, feature a new, easier-to-use format and should be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized businesses. Also new is a section on multi-employer workplaces and a greater emphasis on continuous improvement. Supporting tools and resources are included.

The programs are not prescriptive; they are built around a core set of business processes that can be implemented to suit a particular workplace in any industry. OSHA has seen them successfully implemented in manufacturing, construction, health care, technology, retail, services, higher education, and government.

Key principles include: leadership from the top to send a message that safety and health is critical to the business operations; worker participation in finding solutions; and a systematic approach to find and fix hazards.

“Since OSHA’s original guidelines were published more than 25 years ago, employers and employees have gained a lot of experience in how to use safety and health programs to systematically prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “We know that working together to implement these programs will help prevent injuries and illnesses, and also make businesses more sustainable.”

The OSHA recommendations include seven core elements for a safety and health program: management leadership; worker participation; hazard identification and assessment; hazard prevention and control; education and training; program evaluation and improvement; and communication and coordination for host employers, contractors and staffing agencies.

The recommendations are advisory only and do not create any new legal obligations or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.

OSHA to Establish Alliance Agreement With TekSolv & American Allied Safety Council

in Associations/News

OSHA, TekSolv – American Allied Safety Council, Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Council, and Council of Owners of Construction Associates Inc. have established an alliance that will provide safety trainings, safety resources, and information to roughly 10,000 skilled training workers in Southwestern Illinois. TekSolv administers its American Allied Safety Council trainings to the Council of Owners of Construction Associates Inc. whose members then employ skill trade workers through the Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Council.

John Mouser, CSP, President, Teksolv, states “TekSolv is honored that OSHA has chosen to recognize the achievements of our American Allied Safety Council (AASC) through the OSHA Alliance program. Our unique blend of labor, industry, contract, and stakeholder leadership on our Advisory Board has truly resulted in an unprecedented partnership designed to benefit all involved.”

Through the development and sharing of information on the importance of prevention of workplace hazards, OSHA and the partners will collaborate to encourage worker safety and health in the construction industries. This also includes small businesses and apprentice training programs.

The focus for these trainings will be on common hazards faced by workers in the industry such as falls, electrical, struck-by, fire, confined spaces, and machine safety. The agreement will further promote agency’s rule making, enforcement initiatives, training and education, outreach and communication, and safety campaigns. All allied partners expect this agreement to be positive and beneficial for Southwestern Illinois.

Adam Micun, Vice President, TekSolv, explains the benefits and advancements that are being made with this alliance. “Through the elimination of redundant training programs, site access requirements, and medical screenings; several key advancements occur in the workplace. Industry is able to receive “toolready” workers on day one and eliminate costly on-site training programs as well as the time required to administer them; the contractors, often small businesses, are able to dramatically reduce costs and invest more dollars into safety and personal development; and the trades are afforded an opportunity to work in a larger variety of facilities through reciprocity. This results in the direct economic advancement of the region through increased jobs and opportunity for American workers.”

About TekSolv TekSolv, headquartered in Newark, Delaware, provides a unique range of comprehensive professional service solutions that meet the demand of a legion of industrial markets, including safety, rescue, and training services; systems integration and oilfield automation services; engineering consulting; and environmental monitoring and occupational health services.

About TekSolv AASC The American Allied Safety Council provides trainings for all services in a convenient location in Southwestern Illinois. The AASC is endorsed by local area building trades, is supported by OSHA through the Partnership Alliance and offers fully customizable program solutions. For more information on TekSolv and the AASC, visit teksolv.com or call 866.TekSolv.

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