The two posts from OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety) gives notice that they are working to assure more health and fatality problems by emphasizing on some "No-Notice" construction site inspections on commercial, industrial and residential projects in some areas.
This is great news to have this emphasis, especially with all the serious injuries and fatalities on sites with crane work, concrete placement, scaffolding, struck by, and many other incidents that have been happening all over the country. I encourage OSHA to continually step up these inspections all over. I realize that many of the local OSHA Offices are kept busy "putting out fires" and do not have adequate time to make the above mentioned inspections.
I also encourage the Labor Department to increase the number of Inspectors so that they may police sites more closely. The only way I can see where some of the "Do what we have to do to get by OSHA" contractors need a major attitude adjustment and look into all the many ways that OSHA can and will help them in Safety & Healath Programs and Training.
It just makes horse sense to do it right to start with to prevent costly and deadly incidents.
Florida Readies for No-Notice OSHA 'Swept Up' Week
August 14, 2008
OSHA will conduct a no-notice "Swept Up in Safety Week" campaign in August to curb construction-related fatalities in northern Florida. The agency says that in the past, such unannounced safety weeks have been successful in reducing construction-related fatalities in targeted areas of the Southeast. OSHA compliance officers will focus their enforcement efforts on construction sites in the area that reaches from Daytona Beach to Pensacola, Fla.
The agency says that such field activities are designed to identify and eliminate safety and health hazards at construction sites, thereby reducing the numbers of injuries and fatalities resulting from the four leading causes of accidents: falls, struck-by/crushing events, electrocutions, and caught-in-between events. During previous "Swept Up in Safety Week" campaign periods, agency compliance officers conducted immediate inspections when unsafe working conditions were observed at construction sites, OSHA says. Compliance officers also entered worksites to provide outreach and training and to encourage employers to continue their good work when it was observed.
"One of OSHA's goals this year is to continue increasing employers' awareness about eliminating hazards that lead to employee fatalities," says James Borders, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "The increased presence of our field compliance officers and the immediate inspections they conduct after observing unsafe scaffolds, fall risks, trenches and other construction hazards will lead to a reduction in worksite fatalities."
The agency says that its fiscal year 2007 "Swept Up in Safety Week" campaigns helped to reduce fatalities at construction sites overseen by federal OSHA offices in the southeastern United States by 10.4 percent compared to fiscal year 2006. During the four designated safety weeks in fiscal year 2007, OSHA conducted 2,086 compliance inspections throughout the Southeast, while conducting 1,294 onsite interventions where no inspection was performed.
OSHA Launches Local Construction Emphasis Programs
August 14, 2008
OSHA's Region VI office in Dallas, Texas, has established a Regional Emphasis Program covering employees in the construction industry who perform crane operations. The program conducts safety inspections of workplaces in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and sites in New Mexico that are under federal OSHA jurisdiction.
"This Regional Emphasis Program was established as an enforcement initiative for the inspection of cranes used in construction, with the goal of preventing serious and fatal injuries to employees working on and around cranes," said Regional Administrator Dean McDaniel. "The REP will address various hazards associated with cranes, including but not limited to, being struck by objects, electrocution, crane tip-over, being caught in or between machinery, and falls. Past inspection evidence indicates these hazards are the leading causes of accidents where cranes are used in the construction industry."
OSHA said the emphasis program is intended to supplement its existing targeting programs, focusing additional resources as necessary to monitor jobsites, promote compliance, and promote awareness of safety and health hazards during construction activities involving cranes. OSHA will utilize a number of tools to address this issue, including enforcement, outreach, training, onsite consultation, partnerships, alliances, and the agency's Voluntary Protection Programs.
Under OSHA's construction crane standard, 29 C.F.R. 1926.550, there is a general requirement for employers to inspect construction cranes prior to each use, during use, and annually. OSHA also has specific standards that apply to different types of cranes. The OSHA standard requires that employers conduct tower crane inspections prescribed by the manufacturer.
In addition, OSHA has also announced the start of a local emphasis program in Kansas aimed at reducing workplace hazards on residential and commercial construction sites.
OSHA said its goal with this program is to reduce employee exposures to hazards on construction sites through increased awareness and enforcement activities. Under the program, OSHA will randomly select geographical areas by zip code within the state of Kansas. Cities with a population of 8,000 and greater will be eligible for inspection and all active residential and commercial sites within a selected zip code will be inspected. OSHA will conduct comprehensive safety and health inspections to identify hazardous work exposures. Additionally, safety and health programs, training records, air monitoring surveys, and noise surveys will be reviewed as applicable.