March 20, 2013
They were among the first work-related fatalities recorded in Oregon this year: In late January, a worker was found hunched over the side of a bathtub with his head submerged in water. He had been working alone at a home in Portland resurfacing the tub in a closed bathroom with little ventilation. Eight days later, a worker fell 15 feet while attempting to install a fall-protection anchor on another home in Portland.
Last summer, a construction worker picked up a Powerade bottle – Powerade is a popular sports drink – from a subcontractor's storage area and took a drink of what he thought was water. In fact, the liquid was an epoxy hardener and he was hospitalized with serious internal injuries.
Associated General Contractors (Oregon-Columbia Chapter), Andersen Construction, Bremik Construction, and John T. McKenzie were among the 13 award winners for outstanding contributions to workplace safety and health at this year's Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Conference held March 4-7 in Portland.
A personal fall-arrest system is only as safe as its anchor point. But it's not uncommon to see lifelines and lanyards attached to "secure-looking" rooftop fixtures for convenience. These anchors can fail because they aren't designed to support loads imposed on them during a fall.
Earlier this month, the Department of Consumer and Business Services reported that 30 workers covered by the Oregon workers' compensation system died on the job in 2012.
Among those 30 workers, five were employed in the construction industry. Notice, in the table below, that one of the five workers actually died in 2011 from an injury that happened in 1968. This isn't an error; it illustrates the insidious nature of some health-related diseases and a characteristic of the workers compensation system.
Reprinting, excerpting, or plagiarizing any part of this publication is fine with us!
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.