OSHA Tips for Staying Safe This Summer

OSHA and the US Department of Labor recently published a press release reminding both employers and employees to remember necessary precautions for working safely during summer months. Florida's contractors are no strangers to sweltering summer temperatures, but dangerous heat exposure can occur anywhere if the conditions are right.

When working in a warm environment, the human body relies on its ability to get rid of excess heat to maintain a healthy internal body temperature. Heat dissipation happens naturally through sweating and increased blood flow to the skin. Workers cool down more rapidly if the external (environmental) heat and physical activity (metabolic heat) are reduced. If heat dissipation does not happen quickly enough, the internal body temperature keeps rising and the worker may experience symptoms including:

  • Thirst
  • Irritability
  • A rash
  • Cramping
  • Heat exhaustion or heat stroke

Heatstroke is the most severe heat-related illness. Workers suffering from heatstroke experience mental dysfunction such as unconsciousness, confusion, disorientation, or slurred speech. If you or any of your employees experience these symptoms on a job site, call 911 immediately!

Here are three important tips to remember from OSHA’s Occupational Heat Exposure page to ensure everyone stays safe this summer:

  • Water. Rest. Shade. Workers should drink water every 15 minutes, and take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas
  • Ensure adequate planning and supervision is in place to keep workers safe in the heat
  • Train workers on the hazards of heat exposure and how to prevent illness

We are happy to help ensure the safety of America’s working men and women by providing workplace safety training in all of our state-approved continuing education packages. Remember, Certified Florida Contractors contractors must renew their licenses by August 31st, 2020!


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Springtime Construction Safety

Winter has passed, and Spring has finally sprung!  Spring weather is unpredictable to say the very least, bringing with it equally unpredictable safety hazards. You may walk out your door one morning in a heavy winter coat, and return home wearing a t-shirt. The key is being prepared for whatever mother nature has in store.

Spring's fluctuating temperatures and frequent rain showers pose a different set of problems on the job site.  Frosty spring mornings can warm up significantly by early afternoon. Dress in layers that can be removed as the day heats up. Drinking plenty of water will help you remain hydrated.

Be prepared for the variants in weather conditions, cold, snow, rain, wind, and sun. Keep a plastic bin with a variety of clothing options and weather-resistant personal protective equipment (PPE) that is in line with OSHA’s PPE standards in your vehicle. Items such as sunscreen, bottled water, and non-perishable snack items would also make a great addition. Dehydration and low blood sugar can lead to dizziness and instability, especially when working at elevated heights.

Slip and fall hazards quickly become a concern when the rising temperatures turn frozen dirt into mud. Be mindful of wet conditions especially when using ladders or working on roofs or scaffolding. Always wear the right PPE for the job. Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry. Osha’s most common citations are directly related to fall protection standards.

Consider taking online safety training with courses such as Construction Health and Safety Compliance, Construction Safety and 29 CFR 1926 Stairways and Ladders. Course selections may vary from state to state as well as state required education standards. Company training discounts on state-approved online safety training for your entire crew is available 24/7 at www.licensetobuild.com.

Builders License Exam Prep & State Approved Continuing Education

What is OSHA and Why is it Necessary?

Every workplace has its own set of safety issues and the construction industry is definitely no exception. Each year nearly 6,000 workplace fatalities are reported nationally and 50,000 deaths occur from workplace-related illnesses.  OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration and was created within the Department of Labor. OSHA is responsible for worker safety and health protection.

The information below is an actual snippet from the Builders License Training Institute's  Construction Safety Standards Course.

Is there a need for OSHA?

Each year there are:

  • Nearly 6,000 workplace fatalities nationally
  • 50,000 deaths from workplace-related illnesses
  • 7 million non-fatal workplace injuries
  • Injuries alone cost US businesses over $125 billion

Since 1970 OSHA has:

  • Helped cut the work-related fatality rate in half
  • Worked with employers and employees to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses by 40%
  • Virtually eliminated brown lung disease in the textile industry, and
  • Reduced trenching and excavation fatalities by 35%

What does OSHA do?

  • Encourages employers and employees to implement new, or improve existing safety and health programs by providing assistance, training and other support programs
  • Develops mandatory job safety and health standards
  • Enforces mandatory job safety and health standards
  • Maintains a reporting and record keeping system to monitor job-related injuries and illnesses

Who is covered by OSHA?

  • Most private sector employees
  • Does not cover the self-employed or immediate members of farm families that do not employ outside workers

OSHA develops and enforces standards that employers must follow.  Where OSHA does not have standards, employers are responsible for following the OSHA's General Duty Clause. Employers must furnish a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.

SUMMARY

  • OSHA helps save lives and prevent injuries.
  • OSHA balances a cooperative approach with traditional enforcement.
  • OSHA standards are the enforceable requirements for worker safety and health.
  • Inspections are OSHA's way to ensure compliance.
  • OSHA offers various means of assistance.

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