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Construction Depot

Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

December 14, 2016

In this issue:

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OSHA publishes safe practices guide for construction-industry employers

On Dec.1, federal OSHA issued its Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction. OSHA created the 36-page guide to help construction-industry employers develop a "sound, flexible framework" to address safety and health issues. OSHA notes that small and medium-sized contractors will find the information particularly helpful.

The guide describes seven core elements that are the foundation of an effective workplace safety and health program, which many Oregon contractors will recognize:

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Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit returns to Bend in January

Don't forget that the 16th annual Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit happens at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes Convention Center in Bend next month – Jan. 30-31, 2017. This year's summit includes workshops covering residential, commercial, and industrial construction. Offerings include five pre-conference workshops on Monday, Jan. 30, and 18 breakout sessions on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

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Seven ways to prevent falls at your site

For many in the construction industry, equipment is the first thing that comes to mind as a means for preventing falls. But fall protection is more than just equipment. Here are seven ways to prevent falls at your site.

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Construction Q&A – asbestos-containing material in wallboard and drywall

Q We will be removing wallboard and drywall in homes and other buildings slated for demolition.

If we sample the wall system as a composite and it comes back less than 1 percent asbestos, it is our understanding that the wall system as a whole does not have to be treated as asbestos-containing material.

But we've also been told that we should run wall system samples as both composite and individual layers, because even if the composite is less than 1 percent asbestos, if one layer tests greater than 1 percent, then Oregon OSHA requirements apply. Is this correct?

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Infographic: Initial reports of the top 10 workplace fatality causes in Oregon

Initial reports of the top 10 workplace fatality causes in Oregon: 2000-2016

Deaths from "natural causes" accounted for 41 percent of the 845 workplace fatalities reported to Oregon OSHA since Jan. 1, 2000 – more than any other single cause of a workplace fatality.

These initial fatality reports give a broader – though unofficial – picture of how workers die when they are at work. What distinguishes this data from the official data is the percentage of deaths from "natural causes" – apparent medical conditions such as heart attack and stroke.

Because the end of each year is a good time for making resolutions, why not think about making worker wellness a part of your workplace safety and health program?

Oregon OSHA requires employers to report the death of any employee within eight hours of when it happened or when the employer learned about it.

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Infographic: Oregon OSHA's top 10 construction violations: Jan. 1-Dec.7, 2016

Fall protection violations accounted for 47 percent of the construction industry's top 10 violations this year. Topping the list is Oregon OSHA's general fall protection rule (437-003-1501), which establishes the fall-protection requirements and exceptions for workers who work at heights of 10 feet or higher. Remember: The 10-foot trigger height will become six feet on Jan. 1, 2017. Fall-protection training (including certification) and fall protection for scaffolding were also among the top 10 violations.

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Comments or questions about the Construction Depot? Contact Us

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.