3 Ways to Improve Safety in 2022

So, the last couple of years have offered little assurances when it comes to safety, specifically the health of employees.  That being stated, much of the industry made historical and impressive shifts in their operations to protect their workers, team members and clients.  From masking up and job site cleaning stations to rapid COVID-19 testing, vaccines and social distancing, the roofing and construction industries continued to march on.

These changes have not been without challenges.  In addition to improving and tightening general health safety practices, the industry has also faced major setbacks with the supply chain, requiring business owners to push back projects and work with suppliers and clients to set new, realistic, and sometimes lengthy timelines for project completion.

Amidst all of the changes, there is one thing that has and continues to remain a top priority for all construction business owners – Safety.  No matter the instabilities in supply availability or modifications in coronavirus safety procedures, safety on the job must always be at the forefront of any business.  After all, roofing and construction are considered the most high-risk industries in the nation, and safety policies and procedures must be solid and consistent despite the many challenges that have been presented over the year. 

For this reason, we are going to make it easy for you by providing a quick refresher for staying safe and prepared in 2022.  Here are three ways to keep your crews and businesses safe in the coming year:

  1. Offer Education – There is simply no substitute for proper and regular safety training.  A safe employee is a successful employee, and to maintain knowledge and skills on the job, regular training is essential. While some training and review of policies can be performed in-house, many job-specific trainings and certifications will require you to bring in a third-party professional like Brauner Safety Services.  From CERTA training and certification to OSHA and equipment training, Brauner Safety’s programs are proven and tailored to meet the needs of your crews.
  2. Upgrade Equipment – In addition to proper maintenance, roofing and construction equipment should be repaired and/or upgraded when necessary. The new year is a great time to review the condition of your equipment and take inventory to determine where upgrades or additional equipment will benefit your operations.  When it comes to safety, there are multiple fall protection systems and tools that are available for improving safety on the job.  Brauner Safety Services offers both the latest equipment and training to keep crews safe and successful on every job.
  3. Secure Safety Management – While safety policies and procedures are vital to a successful operation, the rules and practices are only as good as they are applied and used on the job.  For this reason, having a safety manager in place is necessary to maintain and track your safety program.  While this can be quite costly to have in-house, bringing in a specialist or consultant can be effective, and save time and money. For example, Brauner Safety Services assumes responsibility for establishing, implementing, and maintaining your safety program, from initial development to integration into your daily operations. Brauner Safety can provide you with a comprehensive program to train and certify all crew members, supply all administrative components, and teach an existing employee to fill the Safety Manager’s role at a fraction of the cost, all while ensuring compliance.

To learn more about steps you can take to ensure safety for your crews and team members, or to book a training session at your workplace or job site, contact Brauner Safety Services today!

OSHA Requests Input for New Heat Safety Rules

Although temperatures outside are dropping this time of year, things are heating up at OSHA when it comes to addressing heat hazards on the job. According to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that was published on October 27, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened up a public comment period as it prepares to formulate new rules for workplace heat hazards. As stated in the notice, the agency is interested in gaining information about “the extent and nature of hazardous heat in the workplace and the nature and effectiveness of interventions and controls used to prevent heat-related injury and illness.”

The effort comes after data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the three-year average of worker heat-related deaths has doubled over the past three decades.

OSHA is requesting stakeholder input as it moves toward creating a rule to protect workers from extreme heat exposure in indoor and outdoor settings. More specifically, the agency is aiming to receive input on heat-stress thresholds, heat-acclimatization planning, and exposure monitoring.

In recent months, OSHA has been making an effort to address heat hazards.  On September 21, 2021, the agency implemented a national enforcement initiative on heat-related illness. Additionally, OSHA is in the process of developing a National Emphasis Program for heat-related inspections. OSHA’s National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health will initiate a heat injury and illness prevention work group to share best practices, among other measures.

The comment period ends December 27, 2021. As posted by the Federal Register, comments and attachments (identified by Docket No. OSHA-2021-0009) may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.  There you will find instruction for making electronic submissions.

It is important to note that all comments, including any personal information you provide, will be made public as part of the public dockets. For this reason, OSHA cautions all commenters about submitting information that they would not want publicly posted, including contact name, date of birth and social security numbers, as well as any content within responses and comments.

Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards, and extreme heat is considered a significant hazard. To learn more about keeping employees cool in high temperatures, visit our previous post, “Keeping Crews Cool this Summer”. To gain access to the latest in safety education and training, as well as develop a comprehensive safety program for your team, contact Brauner Safety Services.

OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards

In the last year or so, many employers have been focused on COVID-19 when it comes to safety in the workplace; while this focus has been much-needed, there are a number of risks and hazards that every roofing and construction professional must take into account when on the job.  After all, construction is one of the most high-risk and dangerous industries when considering work-related injury and fatality trends (source: NSC).

To better understand workplace related risks, OSHA publishes a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards every year.  The list serves as a method for alerting employers about commonly cited standards so they may take necessary steps to identify and address recognized hazards before OSHA shows up to their workplace. In general, and according to OSHA’s website, the agency does not post the top ten violations until after the first week in April; this provides ample time for the prior fiscal year’s inspection data to be finalized past the close of the fiscal year (September 30th).  That being stated, there have been opportunities to gain some early insight and data.

On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, safety professionals who attended the National Safety Council’s 2021 Safety Congress Expo in Orlando, Florida gained early access to the latest list of violations.  During the presentation, the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards from OSHA for fiscal year 2021* were listed as follows:

  1. Fall Protection, general requirements (29 CFR 1926.501) – 5,295 violations
  2. Respiratory Protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) – 2,527 violations
  3. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053) – 2,026 violations
  4. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) – 1,948 violations
  5. Hazard Communication, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.1200) – 1,947 violations
  6. Lockout/Tagout, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.147) – 1,698 violations 
  7. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503) – 1,666 violations  
  8. Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102) – 1,452 violations 
  9. Powered Industrial Trucks, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.178) – 1,420 violations 
  10. Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212) – 1,113 violations

* Note: The above listed information is preliminary data from Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021.

As noted above, Fall Protection is once again OSHA’s most frequently cited standard for the 11th successive fiscal year.  In addition to fall protection, far too many violations that lead to injury, illness or death are preventable.  Although impressive advancements have been made in safety each year, the OSHA Top 10 list reminds us that we must continue to track and identify where improvements can be made, as well as make workplace safety a top priority. 

To learn more about OSHA’s most frequently cited standards and search the top violations of an industry with a specific NAICS code, visit:  https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/citedstandard.html

To gain access to customized safety training and consulting, contact Brauner Safety Services.

Benefits of OSHA Training

Every roofing contractor knows the importance of safety on the job.  With roofing being a high-risk occupation, safety measures and regular safety training should be a top priority for all employers.

Within the industry, there are numerous trainings and certifications required to run a safe, effective, and efficient operation.  From CERTA Torch Safety Training to OSHA and Fall Protection, it is important to diversify and tailor your safety training program to meet the needs of your crews.

That being stated, today we are focusing specifically on the benefits of OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 safety training.  OSHA training is essential because it increases employees’ awareness of workplace hazards and how to mitigate risks that can lead to accidents and fatalities on the job.

Employers can also reap financial benefits from investing in OSHA training. Those benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Avoidance of penalties from OSHA inspections
  • Reduction in workers’ compensation burdens
  • Increase in productivity and financial performance

Additional program benefits include:

  • Development of a safety culture
  • Team building through hands-on and participatory training activities
  • Customized programs with emphasis on areas that are most important to your crews
  • Employer demonstration of the value of safety and health to workers
  • Meeting the needs of non-English speaking employees through classes offered in Spanish (available upon request).

What is the difference between the 10-hour and 30-hour programs?

While both programs cover various hazards and risks that can be encountered on the job site, the 10-hour training program has been designed to meet the needs of entry level workers, while the 30-hour training program is designed for supervisors and those who hold some level of responsibility when it comes to safety and health.  OSHA 30 provides workers with a wider variety of safety topics at a greater depth than OSHA 10. All OSHA training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control, prevention, and more.

Upon completion of the program, students will receive an OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour course completion card. More importantly, OSHA 10 & 30 hour students will come away from the program with a genuine appreciation of their value and role in safety on the job.

To learn more about OSHA Safety Training and other essential safety programs offered by Brauner Safety Services, check out the list of services here.  To book a training session at your workplace or job site, contact Brauner Safety Services today!

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