The summer construction season means workers and safety managers must be prepared for heat stress, falls, puncture and crushing injuries, and noise exposures.

Summer Construction Season in Focus

The end of winter means construction revs up across much of the country, with workers facing the attendant hazards of falls from height, noise exposure, hand and foot hazards, and more.

The end of winter means construction revs up across much of the country, with workers facing the attendant hazards of falls from height, noise exposure, hand and foot hazards, and more.

Now that almost all of us have all "sprung forward" for this year, turning our clocks ahead as daylight saving time has taken effect (except for most of Arizona and all of Hawaii), it's time to focus on the long list of summer hazards facing construction workers. There are resources aplenty to help any safety professional put together a toolbox talk on any of them—heat, noise, working at heights, mobile equipment, chemical exposures, hand and foot hazards, and many others.

NIOSH's tips for preventing heat illness include these steps:

  • Adjust work schedules to provide workers with rest from the heat
  • Postpone nonessential tasks
  • Provide cool rest areas, shade, and water for workers
  • Wear proper protective clothing
  • Ensure workers drink enough water to stay hydrated
  • Allow workers time to acclimate to the hot environment
  • Educate workers and supervisors to recognize heat illness and how to prevent it

http://www.nahb.org/en/research/safety.aspx
The National Association of Home Builders offers 11 toolkits at this webpage on topics that range from falls to fire safety, recordkeeping, trenching, confined spaces, electrical safety, and HazCom to safety training.

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html
OSHA's guidance for preventing heat stress (think: Water. Rest. Shade) is part of its campaign to prevent heat stress casualties among outdoor workers.

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/construction/
Here, NIOSH provides information on approximately 40 topics relevant to construction workers, as well as videos, a link to its ladder safety app and nail gun safety information. The page includes several useful links to additional resources, including the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program.

www.cpwr.com
The American Society of Safety Engineers and CPWR -- The Center for Construction Research and Training – have released a collection of 52 safety toolbox talks for Spanish-speaking workers in construction. These talks were available only in English previously; they are widely used on construction sites across the country, according to CPWR.

https://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/index.html
CPWR, NIOSH, ASSE, OSHA’s state plans, and the National Safety Council, are among the partners participating in OSHA’s May 2-6 National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction. This year’s will be the third national stand-down in this series; during the first two years, this safety message reached more than 3.5 million workers, CPWR has reported.

http://www.lhsfna.org/index.cfm/occupational-safety-and-health/
The Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America summarizes information about silica, noise, falls, ergonomics, work zones, and trenching—information from OSHA and other sources—at this page.

https://ohsonline.com/pages/hot-topics.aspx
Finally, this page collects Occupational Health & Safety's feature articles, news stories, products, and videos by topic.

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