In the building trades, our hands are our livelihood. A cut or burn -- not to mention tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome -- can mean lost time and lost wages.
Now there's a new resource available from CPWR -- The Center for Construction Research and Training that can help contractors and trades workers alike take steps to prevent hand injuries and disorders. It's Choose Hand Safety.org (www.choosehandsafety.org).
The website was developed under the guidance of the Masonry Research to Practice [r2p] Partnership, and includes specific information tailored for the trowel trades. But there's also information that anyone can use -- such as information on how to select hand tools and gloves, and training materials on how to identify hazards and protect your hands. (Hint: there's no magic "ergonomic" tool. Your hand size is the key to find hand tools that are best for you.) Stop by Choose Hand Safety.org and have a look for yourself!
Unfortunately, it appears that all three were preventable deaths - "due to lack of fall protection at the job site," according to the New York City Buildings Department.
Falls remain the number one killer of construction workers on the job, claiming the life of a construction worker almost every working day. That's why OSHA, NIOSH, and CPWR are asking you to join the nationwide Safety Stand-Down. Contractors and workers across the United States will stop work briefly the first week of June to talk about this urgent problem - and review how we can prevent more of our coworkers from an unnecessary injury or death.
I'll have additional information as June approaches. In the meantime, you can visit www.stopconstructionfalls.com to learn more about our campaign to Stop Construction Falls, and how your organization can participate.
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CPWR -- The Center for Construction Research and Training is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Working with partners like you in business, labor, government, and the universities, we strive every day to make work safer for the 9 million men and women who work in the U.S. construction industry!