From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
CPWR Quarterly Data Report: Caught-in/between
Caught-in/between hazards are among OSHA's Focus Four causes of occupational fatalities in the construction industry. This category includes workers killed when trenches, walls, equipment, or materials collapse, as well as people pinched/compressed between objects and equipment or caught in moving machinery. A new CPWR Quarterly Data Report, Caught-in/between Injuries and Prevention in the Construction Industry, examines fatality and injury statistics from 2003 to 2015. Key findings include:
From 2011 to 2015, 275 construction workers died from caught-in/between injuries, more than any other major industry.
In 2015, 68 construction workers were killed due to caught-in/between injuries, a 33% increase from 2011.
More than two in three of caught-in/between fatalities from 2011 to 2015 were due to being caught or crushed in collapsing materials.
Among occupations, ironworkers had the highest rate of caught-in/between fatalities, while helpers had the highest risk of nonfatal caught-in/between injuries.
These fatalities and injuries are preventable. The report also includes a list of solutions that can prevent caught-in/between injuries, many of which are described in detail in the Construction Solutions database.
CPWR and NIOSH Mining Program Partner to Protect Workers from Airborne Silica
CPWR has been working with our counterparts in NIOSH's Mining Program for the last two years, working to use research done in mining that could improve conditions in the construction industry. Mining and construction share a major occupational health challenge: protecting heavy equipment operators from airborne silica exposure. The NIOSH Mining division has been a leader in this area, and we in construction can learn a lot from their findings. In October 2017 CPWR joined with the NIOSH Mining to host a webinar a webinar on the topic, Protecting Workers in Enclosed Cabs from Silica Exposure: Leveraging Research from the Mining Industry. A recording of the webinar and a PDF of the accompanying slides are available online. The enclosed cab design was included in the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard, Table 1 Specified Exposure Control Methods when Working with Materials Containing Crystalline Silica under the column "Engineering and work practice control methods."
Dr. Jim Melius (courtesy LHSFNA)
I am very sorry to report the death of Dr. James (Jim) Melius on January 1, 2018. Dr. Melius has been involved with CPWR in one capacity or another from the beginning of our construction safety and health research initiative in 1990. He served as the first chair of our Technical Advisory Board (TAB), then as CPWR's medical advisor, and most recently as a valued, longstanding member of the TAB.
Dr. Melius contributed significantly to the recognition of occupational diseases caused by workplace exposures in the construction industry. At CPWR he helped assure that building trades workers employed in nuclear weapons facilities in the U.S. gained access to independent medical monitoring programs (one of which is CPWR's BTMed program). These programs provided evidence that led Congress to enact the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act in 2000. He served on the Presidential Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, created by the Act, from inception, and which he chaired at the time of his death.
Dr. Melius was instrumental in establishing medical monitoring programs for first responders from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack sites. He was also a principal architect of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, the federal law that supports an ongoing program of medical monitoring for these workers, many of whom are building trades workers, and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which has provided more than $3 billion in compensation.
All of us in the CPWR family will greatly miss Jim.
A memorial service has been planned for March 26, 2018, at 11 am in the Stern Auditorium at Carl Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1468 Madison Ave, NYC (at 100th St.).
TOOLS FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH
PtD Safety Protocol for Solar Panel Installations
Solar technology has grown cheaper and more economically attractive in recent years, and a growing number of homeowners are having rooftop solar panels installed. Design choices for these rooftop systems can reduce risk of injury for the workers who install them. Researchers interviewed workers, contractors and engineers to identify opportunities for Prevention through Design (PtD) and produced this safety protocol to promote PtD in solar installation projects.
Highlights 2017: Advancing Construction Safety & Health
Feb. 21 @ 2pm ET (60 min). Tools for a Successful Workplace Safety & Health Program. CPWR is proud to be a partner in OSHA's Safe Workplace + Sound Business Campaign - a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of workplace safety and health programs. Learn about the Campaign and new tools and features of two popular CPWR resources that you can use to improve safety on your jobsite. Presented by Andrew Levinson, Deputy Director, OSHA Directorate of Standards & Guidance; Linda Goldenhar, CPWR Director of Evaluation & Research; Tom Shanahan, Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management, National Roofing Contractors Association; Keith J. Vitkovich, Executive Director, Roofers & Waterproofers Research and Education Joint Trust Fund. CLICK TO REGISTER