Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

April 24, 2014


Construction-related falls in Oregon - 2013

National Safety Stand-Down

By now, most of you have probably heard about OSHA's national safety stand-down, set for June 2-6, to raise awareness about falls in the construction industry. During the stand-down, OSHA is asking employers and workers to take a short break and discuss how falls at their workplaces are happening and how they can be prevented.

In Oregon, construction-related falls account for about 25 percent of compensable injury claims. The following timeline highlights falls that resulted in fatalities or serious injuries in 2013.

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Work-related pedestrian fatalities in Oregon

emergency vehicles

Here are some interesting statistics about work-related pedestrian fatalities over the past 10 years. There were 22 work-related pedestrian fatalities from 2004 to 2013. More than half of those workers died when vehicles struck them along the side of a road or highway. Six of those incidents involved semi-trucks that swerved or drifted onto the shoulder and struck a worker.

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Protective systems for excavations more than 20 feet deep

shoring system

The basic methods for protection from cave-ins are sloping, benching, shoring, and shielding. Oregon OSHA's excavation standard requires that a registered professional engineer design the protective systems for excavations more than 20 feet deep; of course, most shoring and shielding systems manufactured today are designed by registered professional engineers.

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Hand safety tips for masons

Choose Hand Safety logo

If you're a craft worker in the masonry industry looking for information on hand tools and gloves, check out a new resource from the CPWR (The Center for Construction Research and Training).

Training and other outreach materials available from the site include guidebooks, toolbox talks, and handouts.

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Oregon OSHA to change oxy-fuel gas standard in general industry and construction

tank guage

Oregon OSHA is proposing rulemaking to change its existing general industry and construction oxygen-fuel gas (oxy-fuel) welding and cutting rules. Under the proposed rulemaking, one new oxy-fuel rule would cover employers in general industry (Division 2) and construction (Division 3).

Two public hearings are scheduled for the proposed rulemaking:.

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Today's pop quiz question: What's the maximum spacing between balusters on a guardrail?

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When a guardrail has balusters instead of a midrail, what is maximum allowed spacing between the balusters?

Keep in mind that openings in walls or partitions through which people could fall must be guarded if they are 30 (or more) inches high and 18 (or more) inches wide.

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Communication towers and falling objects

Communicationis tower

We know that building and maintaining communication towers is dangerous work. Of the 13 communication tower-related fatalities that occurred across the U.S. in 2013, the majority resulted from falls. This year, tower workers in the U.S. have also been injured or killed when towers collapsed, when their equipment failed, and by falling objects.

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Oregon's Safety Break slated for May

Safety Break Logo

The annual one-day event is intended to raise awareness among employers and employees about workplace safety and its importance in preventing on-the-job injuries.

Companies planning to participate will be entered to win one of three $100 pizza luncheons when they sign up online by Friday, May 9. The Oregon SHARP Alliance is sponsoring the contest.

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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.