ehs wire



blog horizontal banner

Environmental Health and Safety Blog | EHSWire

Proper PPE? Be SURE It Is!

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Oct 5, 2012 11:20:57 AM

If you have a giant stack of the best Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), but don’t use it, or just as important, don’t use it properly, are you trying to become an OSHA statistic? Knowing how to protect yourself from occupational hazards is a critical part of your job.

A Real Life PPE Correction

A few years ago, I was taking my annual HazWOPER 8-Hour Refresher class and a fellow student shared his story about PPE.

Part of his job was to open and close valves that allowed aviation fuels to flow to pumps used to fill airplane fuel tanks. While conducting this task, he was often exposed to fuel vapors. After complaining about the headaches and dizziness that he was experiencing, his employer had him fit tested for a respirator. However, even with the proper-fitting respirator, he still had the same symptoms of overexposure.

Why didn’t the respirator control the exposure?  As a health and safety professional, the answer was obvious to me! I asked him, “What type of cartridge are you using?”

His reply, “I am using what was given to me.” Two days later he called me to tell me that he had been given HEPA filters – the WRONG cartridge for his petroleum vapors. Instead he should have been using organic vapor cartridges. Without correction, this COULD have been become a very dangerous problem – just because of the wrong cartridge in the right respirator!

Proper Protection:  Where Do You Start?

A perfect place to start understanding how to protect yourself is to know what you are dealing with on the job.

1)      What are the potential hazards? Is there more than one? Not sure? Ask questions! Make sure that you understand the hazards and risk before you are satisfied?

Read More

Topics: OSHA, Personal Protective Equipment, General Industry H&S, General EHS, Construction H&S, H&S Training, worker safety, hazards, Lab Safety & Electrical, respirator, Exposure, Respiratory

NIOSH performs studies on Sleep Deprivation

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Mar 27, 2012 6:07:47 AM

March 5-11, 2012 marked National Sleep Awareness Week, and all over the Internet, employers, bloggers, researchers, and other scientists have marked the occasion by bringing up studies performed by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (or NIOSH) regarding sleep deprivation, sleep and work schedules, and sleep loss.

At the heart of this research lies an examination of several different types of workers, including nurses, police officers, truck drivers, manufacturing laborers, and white collar workers. Of particular importance to these sleep loss and sleep deprivation studies are those who perform shift work and have night-time work schedules.

Of high interest is the effect of occupational stress and health of police officers studied in Buffalo, New York. Statistically important health issues include tiredness due to lack of quality sleep, especially among those officers who work night shifts, and who report less than six hours of sleep a night. In addition, risk of injury is greater to the night shift workers, because of these “unnatural” sleep and work schedules

There are several research studies that are either ongoing or have been completed regarding sleep deprivation in truck drivers, manufacturing workers, and even white collar workers. Large amounts of data collected (from long-haul truck drivers especially) show a wide array of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, fatigue and the overall lowered safety expectations from drivers who do not get enough quality sleep.

Another group being studied is American nurses, especially pregnant female nurses. In collaboration with the Harvard Nurses' Health Study, results are showing that an increased number of adverse reproductive outcomes and menstrual cycle abnormalities can be attributed to shift work; especially those studied who work a night shift.

In relation to the sleep deprivation and sleep loss health issues such as fatigue, depression, headaches, malaise, and reproductive issues, the studies point out that work hours that are too long for good health can actually attribute to the decline of healthy white blood cells, which are the first line of defense against such devastating diseases as cancer and autoimmune disorders.

In an effort to stem the adverse health effects and potential safety issues inherent in shift workers and those who work too many hours, NIOSH scientists are seeking development and training programs for managers and workers in several different fields of employ, including those mentioned above. They hope to raise awareness of the problems, encourage healthy sleep habits, and foster a healthier management style that would see more reasonable hours for workers. The dissemination of this information is being brought about through workplace posters, websites, webinars, online training courses, and public service announcements.
Read More

Topics: Emilcott, NIOSH, health and safety, General Industry H&S, General EHS, Sleep and Work Schedules, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Hea, Sleep loss, worker safety, Sleep Deprivation

2011: A Year In Recap

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Jan 4, 2012 3:29:54 AM

Bringing in the New Year is always an exciting time for everyone. People enjoy setting new goals, looking forward to the journey that the New Year brings and starting that resolution they promise they are going to keep. While the New Year brings many things to look forward to, it also is a time where we look back at the year that has passed and take a moment to reflect on what has happened.

At Emilcott, 2011 was a successful year where we were able to tackle new projects, serve our clients and continue to respond to current industry issues in the environmental, health and safety field. Though we have had many great memories from 2011, we would like to mention some of the things that stood out most in our business for 2011.

Hurricane Irene – the immense and powerful Atlantic hurricane that left a path of destruction and devastation was something that definitely stands out in 2011. We remember this event not only because of the wreckage caused by the storm, but also because of the after effects. The staff at Emilcott recognized the importance of addressing the legacy of water intrusion and the promise of mold after the storm and stressed to clients the importance of “timing” to address how to respond to this problem, as well as the importance of selecting the proper remediation technique along with an EHS mold expert and Emilcott’s mold remediation strategy. (Read more: Hurricane Irene Leaves a Legacy of Water Intrusion and the Promise of Mold)

Energy Sector – Emilcott has been thrilled to be able to participate in many different initiatives within the energy sector.  Regionally important to the growth of our economy, the ongoing infrastructure improvements have given us substantial health and safety support work. In EHSWire during 2011 we addressed many occupational hazards as Occupational Heat-related Illnesses where we went over the symptoms that workers may experience, as well as what should be done if someone does experience these symptoms. Besides dealing with working conditions such as heat, Emilcott also provided information on the truths about occupational slips, trips and falls which ended up costing American businesses $13.67 billion in workers compensation costs in 2008. Adhering to proper safety protocols and preventing injuries is something that benefits businesses and their workers. OSHA provides a Walking/Working Surfaces – Safety and Health Topic page which provides links to all the applicable standards.

With issues such as heat affecting the health of workers to preventing injuries on job sites, Emilcott has seen our fair share of mishaps. Being able to share our experiences and knowledge with others never gets old. From teaching someone the hazards about working near a crane, or things you should do when working in certain environments, Emilcott has always tried keeping people in the loop. We even have a 10-Hour Construction Industry Outreach Training Course based on the requirements established by OSHA which is a very hands-on and interactive class that we recommend to avoid a future work related issue. (Read more: Work Near a CRANE? Learn the Hazards!)

9/11 Tenth Anniversary – focused the changes that have occurred since 9/11/2001 such as the new precautions that have taken place on the American Chemical Security issue.   The DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) has been increasing their focus on utilities and chemical facilities which may become targets for terrorist activities and the DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS) now requires completing and submitting a Top Screen analysis to the DHS.

The James Zadroga Act , which was authorized to broaden, renew funding and extend benefits to Ground Zero workers whose death was a result of exposure, is of great significance and has put new emphasis on the importance of proper real-time environmental site monitoring. New technologies are available to protect site workers and the public from exposure to hazardous substances such as those from the collapse of the WTC towers. (Read more: 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Focuses on American Chemical Security)

Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) – was of major importance not only to Emilcott, but also to facilities who are manufacturers or importers of chemicals in amounts of 25,000 pounds or greater. With so many questions regarding TSCA and the changes, Emilcott decided to put on a free webinar along with posting a number of blogs that answered many of the concerns our clients had. Emilcott was able to use its expertise and help many clients with TSCA compliance questions and concerns regarding the developments of IUR reporting and reporting obligations in 2011 for the calendar year 2010. (Read more: August 2011 Update on the TSCA IUR-now-CDR Rule)

Though Emilcott has had many remarkable memories of 2011, we felt these 4 really left an impression on our business. Emilcott is privileged to know that we were able to assist our clients in many different businesses not only in 2011, but throughout our history. Emilcott looks forward to a productive 2012 and we are excited to see what this year has in store for us.

Do you have any environmental, health or safety concerns for 2012? If so, please share them with us below!
Read More

Topics: Emilcott, OSHA, health and safety, CFATS, Hazardous Materials, worker safety, Occupational Health, Occupational Safety, TSCA, Toxic Substance Control Act, Uncategorized, Mold

343 + 2 = Changes in NYC Asbestos Regulations

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Aug 29, 2011 7:22:05 AM

Dale Wilson, CIH, LEED AP, Sr. Project Manager

"343" is a symbol of great sadness to members of the FDNY and their families as 343 is the number of FDNY firefighters who died on September 11, 2001. That staggering figure is remembered quite readily when recalling the events of that day and during the remembrances that have followed.  However, almost six years later, the lives of two additional NY firefighters were claimed during the demolition of the 9/11-damaged Deutsche Bank Building.

The 41-story Deutsche Bank Building stood adjacent to the World Trade Center and was severely damaged by falling debris and smoke when the Twin Towers collapsed. The damage to the skyscraper was so extensive that it had to be demolished. However, as the federal EPA requires, before it could be demolished, all asbestos-containing materials needed to be removed.

By August 18, 2007, demolition was well underway and the building now stood at only 26 stories tall.  Around 3:40 pm, a massive seven-alarm fire broke out as a result of a discarded cigarette in the asbestos decontamination unit on the 17 th floor.  The building had not been inspected by the Fire Department since March, when it should have been inspected every 15 days.  As a result, a crucial but inoperable fire standpipe forced firefighters to raise hoses up from the street to combat the flames.   Inside the building, three firefighters struggled to pull a hose through the deconstructed building. Only one of these men survived. The configuration of the asbestos abatement added to the difficulty of fighting a fire in an already structurally-compromised building.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an institute within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), completed a description and evaluation of the incident as part of their fire fighter fatality investigation. Several items stand out from the asbestos abatement as contributors to the fire:

  • White plastic sheeting was used to partition the floor area into separate zones.  All these partitions created maze-like conditions for the firefighters.

  • Numerous zones were under negative pressure, as required for asbestos abatement, possibly drawing smoke and fire into localized areas.

  • Stairwell doors were blocked by wooded hatch covers as part of the construction of the asbestos containments.

  • Plastic sheeting, construction debris, and exposed lumber in partitions provided additional fuel.

These contributing conditions created by the asbestos abatement project have been recognized by several authorities, and in an effort to maximize safety, New York City enacted a number of new laws to ensure that asbestos abatement projects are conducted safely.  These laws impact the ways that asbestos projects are filed, approved and inspected, and involve new levels of cooperation among the agencies that oversee asbestos and construction safety:  the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP), the Department of Buildings (DOB) and the Fire Department (FDNY).  Most notably, the NYC DEP created the Asbestos -Technical Review Unit (A-TRU) to ensure that asbestos abatement is conducted safely and a new process for filing for asbestos permits called Asbestos Reporting and Tracking System (ARTS).

ARTS enables applicants to submit applications and/or receive approvals (or objections) electronically.  During the application process, applicants are asked questions to identify if

  • the building’s fire protection systems (e.g., fire alarm or sprinkler system) will be turned off as a result of the abatement work,

  • abatement work will result in blocked or compromised egress or whether any components of the fire protection system are going to be removed as part of the abatement

  • abatement work entails removal of passive fire protection (e.g., fire resistance rated walls, sprayed on fireproofing, or smoke dampers)

If there is an impact to any of these fire protection items then a comprehensive Work Place Safety Plan must be developed for the project indicating abatement containment areas and systems, obstructed and temporary exits, tenant protection and a description of any measures that will be taken to mitigate compromised fire protection systems or means of egress. As a final item intended to promote life safety during abatement projects, the asbestos supervisor must inspect exits daily to ensure that there are no exterior blockages or impediments to exiting. If any blockages or impediments are identified, work must stop until the blockage has been removed.  Essentially, deconstruction and asbestos-abatement work cannot compromise the safety of workers and firefighters.

As Carrie Bettinger noted in a past EHSWire blog, “ In our society and legal system it seems that, yes, someone (or many) has to tragically die before change and regulation are considered.” In this case, the tragedy was 343+2. Hopefully the A-TRU process and increased oversight from NYC DEP, DOB, and FDNY will prevent another similar tragedy from occurring.

Postscript:  The last of the Deutsche Bank tower criminal trials were completed in July, 2011. More information can be found at
Read More

Topics: indoor air quality, health and safety, Construction H&S, EPA, Emergency Response, Homeland Security, H&S Training, worker safety, regulation, construction, emergency response training, demolition, 9/11, Work Place Safety Plan, asbestos, September 11, Deutsche Bank NYC, A-TRU, 9-11, Fire Safety

Need Respirators for Emergency and Post-Emergency Response?

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Aug 21, 2011 10:36:09 PM

Sarah Damaskos with Paula Kaufmann, CIH

When recalling our onsite environmental, health and safety work following 9/11, Emilcott’s health and safety staff often discuss that respirators were either not worn or improperly worn by many first responders and subsequent waves of workers and construction crew members at Ground Zero. Not surprisingly, ten years later the news media are churning out plenty of stories detailing the life-threatening health effects developing in many of these people -- possibly linked to their exposure to airborne dust and chemicals present at the World Trade Center site.
Read More

Topics: Personal Protective Equipment, General Industry H&S, General EHS, Emergency Response, H&S Training, worker safety, 9/11, preparedness, respiratory protection, Exposure, respirators

Expensive, damaging and possibly fatal…the truth about occupational slips, trips and falls!

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Jun 13, 2011 3:00:40 AM

By Eileen Lucier

Slips, trips, and falls aren’t at the top of anyone’s “most glamorous” EHS topics list.  Many people perceive slips, trips, and falls as minor incidents resulting solely from either carelessness or clumsiness. In fact, losing your footing is the basis for basic comedic art (ever watch “The Three Stooges” or “America’s Funniest Home Videos”?)  

Quite the opposite -- slips, trips, and falls are a very costly and serious worker safety issue. In 2008, these incidents cost American businesses a staggering $13.67 billion in direct workers compensation costs. That’s more than any other cause and more than the combined cost of the third through sixth ranked causes. 

Injury, Illness and Death Facts You Should Know

Slips, Trips, and Falls….

How can slips, trips, and falls be prevented?

As with most safety hazards, slip, trip, and fall hazards can be minimized with a combination of good work practices, proper use of appropriate equipment, proper facility and equipment maintenance, and worker training. OSHA’s Walking/Working Surfaces - Safety and Health Topic page provides links to all the applicable standards. Some basic preventive practices include:

  • Good housekeeping

    • Keep floors clean, dry, and sanitary

    • Clean up spills promptly

    • Keep aisles and walkways free of obstructions and clutter

  • Footwear

    • Fit properly

    • Require slip-resistant foot in areas prone to wet or slippery conditions

  • Fall prevention and protection

    • Provide appropriate fall arrest systems

  • Facilities and equipment

    • Walking and working surfaces

      • Floor surfaces should not be slippery or uneven

      • Install non-slip flooring in areas prone to wet or slippery conditions

      • Maintain floors in good condition

      • Equip elevated working surfaces and stairways with guardrails

      • Protect floor holes such as drains with grates or covers

      • Promptly remove ice and snow from walkways, parking lots, etc.

      • Adequate lighting

      • Ladders

        • Provide properly rated ladders

        • Maintain ladders in good condition

  • Training

    • Provide worker training for

      • Slip, trip, and fall hazards

      • Ladder use

      • Personal fall arrest systems

Don’t Slip Up on Safety!

Bruising, twisting or breaking a bone makes your work life and personal life extra challenging – it’s worth it to take a few minutes to prevent the accident from ever happening. On TV and in the movies, slips and other footing mishaps are carefully orchestrated with hidden padding, stunt doubles, some great camera tricks, and, of course, an endless supply of retakes. When you’re working on the job, there’s only one chance! 

Using the tips listed above, take a look around your workplace to see if it meets the criteria to prevent slips, trips and falls.  Don’t forget to look at your own feet to see that you are properly dressed for the environment and job duties. If you see a situation that is unsafe or could potentially be a slip, trip and fall hot spot, make sure you point it out to your coworkers and safety officer so that a permanent solution can be found.

Has it happened to you?

Have you experienced a slip, trip or fall on the job?  Could it have been prevented? What was the outcome for you and your company?
Read More

Topics: health and safety, General Industry H&S, OSHA Compliance, General EHS, Construction H&S, Emergency Response, H&S Training, Compliance, worker safety, Occupational Safety, Lab Safety & Electrical, construction, General Industry, Fire Safety, fall protection, trips, slips

Poison Ivy: Outdoor Worker Public Enemy

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Jun 6, 2011 2:31:08 AM

Daniel Senatus

According to the CDC, poison ivy is a common poisonous plant found throughout the United States. It can be found in forests, swamplands, roadsides, backyards and even in urban environments. That means, wherever you are, poison ivy could be right there!  And, it’s not always easy to spot.  When trying to identify this plant, consider the species, the season and your geographical location as the physical characteristics can vary. Being able to recognize local varieties, especially at a work site, is your key to avoiding exposure.

Poison ivy produces a liquid called urushiol, this is the so called “active ingredient” that causes the itching, blisters and rashes in most people who touch it. Outdoor workers can be exposed to poison ivy in multiple ways:

  • Physical contact with the plant (including the roots!)

  • Touching tools, equipment or livestock that have been in contact with the plant

  • Inhaled aerosolized particles from burning the plant.


Your ability to recognize poison ivy is the first step in preventing exposure. Depending upon where you live and the season, the plant can vary widely. It always has three leaves (like many other plants) but the size, shape and coloring may fool you. The following links provide some pictures and other useful information to help you identify the poison ivy lurking in your work place:


When working in areas infested with this wicked plant, personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and boots, long sleeve shirts and long pants tucked into boots will help. Be extra careful to not touch the exposed clothing when removing it and wash it in the hottest water possible using copious amounts of soap and water with lots of room to agitate. If you’re not sure – wash it again as you can get a rash from clothing or tools that have the urushiol resin from even years back!

Always wash your skin with plenty of soap and cold water after exposure. (Hot water opens your pores and lets the resin absorb into your skin.) If you can get scrubbing within ten minutes of contact, you may have dodged the poison ivy bullet! And, always clean all tools and equipment that come in contact with the plant with soap, water and a bleach solution to avoid re-exposure.

Follow comprehensive decontamination methods – treat the urushiol resin as a chemical contaminant!

First Aid

How do you know you have poison ivy? Advice from the Mayo Clinic includes

Signs and symptoms of a poison ivy rash include:

Often, the rash looks like a straight line because of the way the plant brushes against the skin. But if you come into contact with a piece of clothing or pet fur that has urushiol on it, the rash may be more spread out.  The reaction usually develops 12 to 48 hours after exposure and can last up to eight weeks. The severity of the rash is dependent on the amount of urushiol that gets on your skin.

Once you know you’re exposed, wash exposed skin with plenty of soap and cold water to break down and encapsulate the oil. Web MD advises these additional steps:

An alternative is rubbing alcohol, which can dissolve and remove the oils from your skin. If you can remove the oil within 10 minutes, you are unlikely to develop the rash. Symptoms from a mild rash can sometimes be relieved by the following:

And, of course, if the reaction seems to be severe, is spreading or lasting longer than a few weeks, ask for immediate professional medical attention.

Three leaves? Be cautious!

At Emilcott, we frequently run into job sites with high potential for poison ivy exposure…think about the uncleared, overgrown or unkempt places that surveyers, highway workers, laborers, HazWOPER workers, engineers, inspectors,  construction workers, and landscapers, often find themselves! And don’t think that you’re immune either. My coworker, Paula Kaufmann, CIH, wrote about her overconfidence that she had not been sensitized to urushiol (and thought she was “immune” and her inevitable reaction to repeated exposure. Maybe she should have paid attention to Emilcott’s poison ivy awareness and other outdoor hazards that is a part of many of our health and safety training courses!

Have you had an experience with poison ivy on the job? Were you prepared ahead of time? If not, what happened?
Read More

Topics: Personal Protective Equipment, General Industry H&S, General EHS, Construction H&S, worker safety, Occupational Safety, Exposure, poison ivy, Occupational Training

May 2011 was Busy for OSHA

Posted by Shivi Kakar

May 31, 2011 6:18:05 AM

Paula Kaufmann, CIH

As an occupational and safety professional, I’ve noticed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been busy over the last few weeks!  The following is a summary of highlights of interest to Emilcott clients.  Did any of these catch your attention?

Highlight #1: Up-to-Date OSHA Standards

Announcement of a final rule to help keep OSHA standards up-to-date and better enable employers to comply with their regulatory obligation. The concept should allow OSHA to easily remove outdated requirements, streamline and simplify standards without reducing employee protection. The rule is to be published soon in the Federal Register:  OSHA Standards Improvement Project-Phase III final rule.

Benefit to employers:  OSHA estimates that the final rule will result in annual cost savings to employers exceeding $43 million. Now that’s an improvement to cheer about!

In the news release, OSHA stated that there will not be any NEW requirements set by this rule, so employers will be able to comply with it immediately. (However, it seems that there will be modifications...Emilcott will be keeping a lookout for those and post an update below or as a new EHSWire post.)  Here are some examples listed in the news release on this rule:

  • Respiratory Protection

    • Aligning air cylinder testing requirements for self-contained breathing apparatuses with U.S. Department of Transportation regulations

    • Clarifying that the provisions of Appendix D, which contains information for employees using respirators when not required under the standard, are mandatory if the employee chooses to use a respirator.

  • Sanitation

    • Defining “potable water” to meet the current Environmental Protection Agency

  • Access to Exposure and Medical Records

    • Deleting a number of requirements for employers to transmit exposure and medical records to NIOSH

  • Slings

    • Requiring that employers use only slings marked with manufacturers' loading information

Highlight #2: OSHA Injury and Illness Logs - Musculoskeletal Disorders (“MSD”)

Reopening the public record on proposed record-keeping rule to add work-related musculoskeletal disorders column.  This keeps popping up!

  • In January of  2010, OSHA proposed to revise its Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements regulation to restore a column to the OSHA 300 log that employers would have to check if an incident they already have recorded under existing rules is an MSD.  

  • On January 25, 2011, OSHA withdrew this proposed revision.

  • On May 17, 2011, OSHA reopens the public record on a proposed rule.

Highlight #3: A Survey of Private Sector Employees

Launch of a targeted employer survey to collect information that would improve the development of future rules, compliance assistance and outreach efforts.

  • The survey will be sent to private sector employers of all sizes and across all industries under OSHA's jurisdiction. Questions include whether respondents already have a safety management system, whether they perform annual inspections, who manages safety at their establishments and what kinds of hazards they encounter at their facilities. Participation in the survey is voluntary.

Highlight #4: Fall Protection for Residential Construction Workers

Online presentation about fall protection specifically designed for residential construction workers. (This is really great as residential construction crews frequently overlook safety – just look at all the roofers walking around the top of your neighborhood homes!)

On a personal note, my son is currently volunteering as a roofer on a Habitat for Humanity home construction site … he informs me that he is wearing fall protection and the roof has anchor points! 

So, can you tell that Emilcott is pretty excited about these changes? Instead of putting the onus on employers to become more aware of OSHA, OSHA is streamlining existing rules to match other government agencies (radical!), listening to employers before leaping into new regulations, and looking at alternative messaging techniques to market segments that frequently fall in the cracks.

If you’re interested in what’s happening at OSHA, just take a look at the loooooong list of May press releases…Are there any highlights that you think important to you or American businesses? Any predictions for June?
Read More

Topics: OSHA, General Industry H&S, OSHA Compliance, General EHS, Construction H&S, Compliance, worker safety, reporting, regulation, construction, fall protection, federal register, log, standards, musculoskeletal disorder

10-hr OSHA Outreach Training for the Construction Industry Most Popular

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Apr 26, 2011 2:21:46 AM

by Paula Kaufmann

In 2010, 782,000 students nationwide attended OSHA Outreach Training courses with an 11% increase in students attending the 10-hr Construction Industry Training -- the highest attendance of all courses offered. What is the driving force for the high and rising class attendance? Bids for construction projects with both public and private funding now require that employees of contracting companies complete and pass the OSHA Outreach in Construction courses to reduce project liability and cost. 

What is Construction Industry Outreach Training?

The OSHA Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry teaches construction workers  how to identify safety and health hazards and how to avoid and prevent these hazards and injuries with the “ Focus Four Hazards” of falls, caught-in or between, struck-by, and electrocution. The training also covers workers’ rights to a safe workplace, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint to OSHA. The Standards applicable to the Construction Industry are contained in Section 29 of the Code of Regulations, Part 1926. 

Who Should Attend a 10-hour Construction Industry Training Course?

Workers must complete the OSHA 10-hr Construction Industry Training Course to work on any publicly-funded construction project in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island.  Nevada also requires those with supervisory or safety responsibilities complete the 30-hr course.

Many private companies are adding this training to their bid requirements as well! Why?  This course is an excellent introduction to health and safety programs for workers new to construction or when it is time to create a paradigm shift in attitudes about safety. Although the OSHA 10-hour Construction Industry course is designed for entry-level construction workers, many organizations include ALL their site personnel in this training because EVERYONE is responsible for safety.

OSHA, government and private contractors, and insurance providers recognize the completion card as an indication of the importance of safety and health for both the individual and the organization.  In fact, Workers’ Compensation insurance providers often will reduce rates for companies that recognize training as part of their Health and Safety Program and include this essential training to their staff.

Emilcott’s OSHA 10-Hour Construction Industry Course

Based on the requirements established by OSHA, Emilcott’s 10-hour Construction course provides important information about the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces in the construction industry. This training assumes no prior training nor requires any prerequisite training.  Much of the Emilcott Training Institute’s 10-hr Construction Industry course is interactive and hands-on to ensure that key health and safety concepts are retained .  More importantly,  our courses are taught by instructors with real-world experience. Credentials and certifications provide a way to verify competency in particular fields but real-world experience should not be discounted. It’s one thing to talk about trenching hazards, it’s quite another to actually work around them. This experience allows Emilcott trainers to put the material in perspective and help students make the connection between theory and practice.

Quality Training Makes a Difference

With twenty-five years of consulting experience with all types of companies, projects, work sites and hazards, we universally find that the  OSHA Outreach Courses for both Construction and General Industry help everyone at the site “get it” when it comes to site safety!  When part of an implemented Health and Safety Plan, the education provided by quality OSHA Outreach courses has helped our clients reduce their accident incident rates AND insurance rates! 

Do you have examples of the OSHA Outreach Training raising the bar of safety at your site? Is there something you’ve learned in an OSHA Outreach Training Course (Construction or General Industry) that has helped you on the job?
Read More

Topics: OSHA, OSHA Compliance, Construction H&S, Compliance, worker safety, construction, Occupational Training, outreach training

Setting up Health and Safety Communications in Remote, Mountainous Work Areas

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Apr 11, 2011 8:46:26 AM

By Don Hoeschele, MS, CHMM

In an age where we are reliant on modern technology as a part of our job, it is difficult to imagine not being able to use your cell phone or access the Internet because of topography.  As the Field Safety Manager for a 300-mile electric power transmission power line construction project, one of my first tasks was to address the question “How do you make communication possible across 275 miles of relatively unpopulated, harsh mountainous territory”?  Specifically, I had to meet OSHA’s requirements for communication:  29 CFR 1926.35 “Employee Emergency Action Plans” and 29 CFR 1926.50 “Medical Services and First Aid”.  

For a project health and safety administrator, it is vital to be able to communicate with your team members and with outside resources. How do you keep tabs on who is where and what is happening? How do you find if something has gone wrong or someone needs help?  In fact, these are the reasons that OSHA implemented the Standards listed above – life and death situations may depend upon it!

On this particular project, numerous construction crews were working at different, extremely remote locations with a distance of several miles between each work crew. While the power line tower construction and electric line-stringing companies included requirements for an eventual end-to-end 2-way radio system, the system was not available for at least the first year of the project. And, since cell phones and the average two-way radio systems were not able to be consistently or reliably available to meet the communication needs required for this project, I needed to find an alternative. 

After digging around and countless meetings, calls, and trips to all kinds of communications companies, we settled on a resourceful, cost-conscious and effective method of communicating between the crews, safety personnel, surveyors and managers. The end result was a creative mix of new technologies:

  • Cell phone signal boosters in each vehicle in the field

  • GPS SPOT locator units for each  crew

  • New technology satellite phones for work crews heading into the most remote locations.  

The vendor that built these systems also owned many of the frequencies needed for an end-to-end two-way radio system that would reach across the 275-mile project location.

Of course, the system’s effectiveness had to be proven – we were relying on it! So, I spent hours deep in the mountains field testing the equipment in some of the most remote project locations I have ever seen. Luckily, I was helped by some of the project team members who had spent a great deal of time in this area. Experience also helps communication!

This project had unusual difficulties – a big, remote, mountainous and unpopulated area – that could have thwarted OSHA’s communication requirements.  At any time, it would have been easy to throw in the towel, cross our fingers or perhaps put together a patched-together system and hope it worked.  However, with some tenacious ingenuity and a confidence that a reliable health and safety communication system could be found, we were able to overcome the almost overwhelming challenges and put an effective field communication system into place.

Have you been faced with challenges to provide adequate communication systems for your employees?  What has made a job site seem almost impossible to conquer? What did you do to overcome those challenges?
Read More

Topics: OSHA, health and safety, General Industry H&S, OSHA Compliance, General EHS, Construction H&S, Emergency Response, HazCom, Compliance, worker safety, Occupational Health, Occupational Safety, Hazard Communication Standard, communication

Subscribe to!


Latest Posts

Posts by category