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Construction Depot

Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

December 15, 2015

In this issue:

 
truck exhaust

Box trucks and internal-combustion engines can be deadly

Running an internal-combustion engine in a box truck can have deadly consequences unless the exhaust is properly vented. Even when the exhaust pipes are vented outside these trucks, carbon monoxide gas can endanger workers if the pipes are not positioned correctly. Oregon OSHA compliance officers have found that, in many of these cases, workers were unaware that they were exposed to carbon monoxide gas.

The most recent case involved gas-powered equipment in a box truck that workers were using to blow insulation into the attic of a house. The exhaust from the blower's engine was vented by a pipe that went through the wall of the truck and under the truck's frame. But the machine's air intake was too close to the exhaust vent and the exhaust was being sucked back into the system. The result?

Read article »

 
sound waves graphic

Construction Q&A: Can I disconnect backup alarms on heavy equipment?

Q: Residents near our construction site have complained about the early-morning noise from back-up alarms on our dump trucks and other heavy equipment. If a vehicle is equipped with a back-up alarm, is it acceptable to disable it when a spotter is present?

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family tree

Workplace injuries can harm family members, too

We all know that the workplace injuries affect workers and their employers, but the consequences of those injuries can put a worker’s family members at risk for injury, too.

In a recent study (first published online, Aug. 31, 2015), researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Northern Kentucky University found that family members of severely injured workers filed more healthcare claims for musculoskeletal disorders such as fractures, sprains, and joint dislocations than family members of less severely injured workers.

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recordkeeping

New reporting and recordkeeping rules take effect Jan. 1, 2016

Did you remember that the changes to Oregon OSHA's reporting and recording requirements for injuries and illnesses take effect on Jan. 1, 2016? In March 2015, Oregon OSHA adopted changes to its recordkeeping and reporting rules after federal OSHA changed its recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Those changes take effect Jan. 1. Here is a summary of what you need to know.

On Jan. 1, there will be two Oregon OSHA rules for reporting and recording injuries and illnesses.

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fall protection

Oregon OSHA to propose changes to construction fall-protection requirements

Oregon OSHA is proposing to change the construction industry's 10-foot fall-protection requirement to 6 feet and to revoke the use of slide guards as a primary fall-protection system. The proposal aims to address federal OSHA's concern that the current requirements are not as effective as its requirements.

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Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit logo

Mid-Oregon construction (and agriculture) Safety Summit returns to Bend in January

The 15th annual Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit takes place at The Riverhouse Resort and Convention Center, Jan. 25-26, 2016. This year's summit includes workshops for people in the construction industry and agriculture. Offerings include nine pre-conference workshops on Jan. 25, and 20 breakout sessions on Jan. 26.

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But remember: the information in this newsletter is intended to highlight safe work practices, but it does not replace Oregon OSHA workplace safety and health rules.

For information about Oregon OSHA services and answers to technical questions, call (503) 378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, (800) 922-2689.