Where Construction Goes to Work Smarter

Caught-In/Between Incidents Pose Major Construction Safety Concerns

Being stuck between a rock and a hard place can take on a whole new, more dangerous meaning in the construction industry.

According to OSHA, in 2013 the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 4,101 worker fatalities in private industry. Among those deaths, 828 were construction related -- 20.2 percent of the total.

Although a variety of hazards exist on construction sites, 57.7 percent are attributed to what is called the "Fatal Four" or "Focus Four" -- the most common types of construction fatalities. The Fatal Four includes falls, struck-by-object incidents, electrocutions, and caught-in/between incidents.

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Mold is a Hidden but Serious Safety Concern for Construction Workers

Mold damage is a common sight in the construction industry. A small plumbing or roof leak can quickly create large areas of mold in a building.

The worst cases come from severely neglected buildings and in the aftermath of flooding. During the repair or even demolition of buildings that have mold damage, workers can face serious illness if they lack proper training or protective equipment.

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Mobile Work Zones Pose Safety Issues for Road Construction Workers

Whether sweeping a busy freeway or patching potholes on a side street, mobile work zones carry their own types of problems. Roadway construction on its own is a uniquely dangerous job, and trying to stay safe is even harder when the site itself keeps moving.

Traffic exposure is the most dangerous issue facing a mobile work zone. Working within the everyday flow of traffic is challenging and doesn't offer the protection that a fully-closed or barricaded roadway work site does. Workers and equipment are doubly exposed to impatient commuters and inattentive drivers.

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Injury Reporting a Key Employer Responsibility for Construction Safety

When it comes to reporting and keeping records of work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, Employer Responsibilities under OSHA go far beyond a single line on a poster.

Report to the nearest OSHA office all work-related fatalities within eight hours, and all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.

The employer is responsible for making sure that OSHA has been notified of severe injuries and fatalities quickly so that immediate action can be taken to ensure that the employee is taken care of and that there is no further risk for other employees.

Keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses. (Note: Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain low-hazard industries

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Disaster Recovery Poses Unique Construction Work Zone Safety Issues

After a natural disaster strikes, clearing and repairing basic infrastructure begins immediately.

One of the most important tasks is to make sure that the roads and bridges are cleared and repaired to allow emergency and repair crews full access to a community.

Roadway work zones pose a unique danger to construction workers, and emergency conditions increase that risk. Texas has recently been hit with major flooding, and the highway and bridge workers will be working nonstop to keep traffic flowing.

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Proper Communication is Key to Keeping Construction Employees Safe

Creating and maintaining a safe working environment goes beyond obvious concerns like fall hazards. A large portion of the employer responsibilities under OSHA focuses on proper communication with workers. Safety protocol in the workplace can be followed only if every employee is clear on the specific hazards they may encounter.

Employers must provide safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.

If there is any type of language barrier present, an employee could easily misinterpret a key term or two but still grasp the overall idea. Even a native speaker could understand the language of the training but not the vocabulary. They may understand that a certain material is possibly carcinogenic, but may not know what the word "carcinogenic" means. A good safety training plan should also ensure that every worker grasps the vocabulary being used.

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Heat Illness in Construction Can Be Prevented with Water, Rest, Shade

The summertime is when construction companies across the country get the majority of their work done.

But it’s also one of the most dangerous times of the year to be outside. The sun beating down from above, the humidity and/or dry air surrounding work crews, and the reflection off a hot blacktop all combine to conspire against heavy civil workers out in the field, causing heat illness even in those who are used to hot conditions.

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Apps to Help You Manage Your Construction Business

At HCSS, we think our software and mobile apps offer the perfect solutions for your major construction business problems. But we also know you face plenty of smaller issues every day.

Managing your construction business can be tough if you don't have the right tools. But the solution might be right at your fingertips. Here are eight phone and tablet applications that can help you take notes in the field, eliminate paper sketches, or even create field markups to make your work life just a little easier.

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HCSS's Maliszewski to Run Ultra Marathon, Raise Money for School

The first time Steve Maliszewski visited the campus of Ethembeni School in South Africa, he knew he wanted to get involved.

The school, established in 1984, houses and educates 300 physically disabled and visually impaired children from all over Zwazulu-Natal. Kingdom of the Zulu in South Africa, helping them to become independent and responsible citizens of the community. Its name means “Place of Hope” and operates under the motto “Phila Ufunde” – Live and Learn.

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