From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
New CPWR Report Finds Rate of Fatal Injuries on the Rise for Small Construction Contractors
A new CPWR Quarterly Data Report reveals a disturbing trend: the gap between worker fatality rates at small and large contractors has steadily widened during the construction recovery.
Between 2008 and 2016, according to the report, construction establishments with 20 or more employees experienced a 30% drop in their fatality rate, while small construction employers (those with fewer than 20 employees) saw their rate of fatal injuries increase by 57%. In 2016, these small construction establishments employed 37% of the construction workforce but accounted for more than two thirds (67.2%) of fatalities.
CPWR provides an online tool designed to help small construction contractors self-assess their safety management programs and identify ways to improve them. The free and anonymous Safety Climate Assessment Tool for Small Contractors (S-CAT SC) can be found on the CPWR website.
CLICK HERE for the complete Quarterly Data Report, Fatal Injuries among Small Construction Establishments.
TOOLS FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH
Hazard Alert: Lightning
Lightning injures or kills hundreds of people in the U.S. each year. Construction workers who work in open spaces, on roofs, or in other high places are at risk of being struck by lightning. A new CPWR Hazard Alert Card and a related Toolbox Talk on Lightning provide information on what workers should do when they hear the first distant rumble of thunder and what they should expect from their employer. For more information, click on CPWR's Hazard Alert and Toolbox Talk on Lightning.
CPWR Study: Contractors, Workers Often Unaware of Nanomaterials in Construction Products
A growing number of construction products incorporate engineered nanoparticles, and little is known about how long-term exposures might impact worker health. Recently, a CPWR-supported research team worked with the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California to gauge nanomaterial awareness among apprenticeship instructors, local union representatives, and their signatory construction contractors. Researchers surveyed 253 contacts representing multiple trades and found that only a quarter of the respondents were aware that engineered nanoparticles were being introduced into construction materials. That means a lot of workers are being exposed without knowing it: when reviewing a list of nano-enabled construction products, 44% of respondents found products they recognized or used on the job.
The study, Nanotechnology: Assessing Awareness and Training Needs among California Construction Trades, is available on the CPWR website. For a one-page summary of the key findings, CLICK HERE. For a list of nearly 600 nano-enabled construction products on today's construction sites visit eLCOSH Nano.
NEWS & EVENTS
November 14 @ 2pm ET (30 min). Predicting Exposure to Hazards Using the Exposure Control Database. Predicting worker exposure to jobsite hazards such as silica has historically been a challenge in construction; the construction industry lacks a system to help health and safety practitioners predict exposure to hazards and implement effective controls accordingly. To bridge this gap, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training has developed an interactive, online "Exposure Control Database" that calculates exposure to four major hazards -- silica, welding fumes, noise, and lead -- using prepopulated objective data. Please join CPWR Exposure Control Technologies Research Director Babak Memarian and Industrial Hygienist Sara Brooks to learn more about CPWR's Exposure Control Database and how to use it. CLICK TO REGISTER