Jobsite Safety

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Words to Live By Remodeling contractors should understand the following terms as used in OSHA regulations: Competent person means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

July 01, 2005

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Get the Lead Out
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Words to Live By

Remodeling contractors should understand the following terms as used in OSHA regulations:

Competent person means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Defect means any characteristic or condition that tends to weaken or reduce the strength of the tool, object or structure of which it is a part.

Employee means every laborer or mechanic regardless of the contractual relationship that may be alleged to exist between the laborer and mechanic and the contractor or subcontractor who engaged him. Laborer generally means one who performs manual labor or who labors at an occupation requiring physical strength; mechanic generally means a worker skilled with tools.

Hazardous substance means a substance that, by reason of being explosive, flammable, poisonous, corrosive, oxidizing, irritating or otherwise harmful, is likely to cause death or injury.

Did You Know?

Fact: The risk of workplace injury to one of your employees is significantly increased on Mondays between the hours of 8:01 a.m. and noon.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Required Reading

The Associated General Contractors of America's 482-page Manual of Accident Prevention in Construction, which helps contractors prevent jobsite accidents with advice on fall protection, lead exposure, scaffolding and more. Cost is $150. To order, call 800/242-1767 or visit www.agc.org.

 

Get the Lead Out

Firms that renovate houses built before 1978 need to be aware of the hazards of lead-based paint and how to safely complete these jobs. Lead from paint, chips and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly. In fact, federal law requires that contractors provide lead information to residents before renovating pre-1978 housing.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests a number of considerations to keep in mind before beginning renovations that disturb painted surfaces, such as scraping off paint or tearing out walls. Have the area tested for lead-based paint. Do not use a belt-sander, propane torch, heat gun, dry scraper, or dry sandpaper to remove lead-based paint. These actions create large amounts of lead dust and fumes. Remember that lead dust can remain in the home long after the work is done. If possible, ask the homeowners if they can temporarily move out of the apartment or house until the work is done and the area is properly cleaned. If this isn't possible, be sure to completely seal off the work area.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The List

Injuries on the Jobsite
Here are the top standards violations most cited by Federal OSHA in the United States between October 2003 and September 2004 for residential general contractors.
Fall protection 796
Scaffolding 758
Ladders 227
Stairways 227
Construction/general safety 183
Head protection 131
Electrical wiring methods 128
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor


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