NCCER National Safety Committee Updates

October 3-4, 2017 Meeting Highlights

OSHA Update – Brian Sturtecky (OSHA Directorate of Construction)
Mr. Sturtecky presented statistics on construction industry reportable incidents and fatalities from OSHA, including the following data:

  • In 2016, 107 fatalities were reported in Florida and the same number was reached in 2017, suggesting that there is a need for additional training above and beyond OSHA
  • There were extreme increases in OSHA reportable incidents in Florida related to disaster recovery (i.e. tree trimming, landscaping, electrocutions, deaths)
  • Companies should share information about workers that don’t follow rules, as OSHA will never hold an individual worker responsible
  • 50.5% of OSHA compliance inspections are in the construction industry (3 year average, FY13-15)
  • In Florida in construction, there are high levels of fatality for falls in the 8 – 15 foot range.
  • OSHA is going to more “rapid response investigations” (i.e. remote reporting, not in person visit from OSHA inspector) due to loss of resources
  • Fall protection was the most cited OSHA violation in both Texas and Florida
  • Trench-related fatalities also increased

The following items were also reviewed briefly during the OSHA presentation:

  • OSHA currently has 200 fewer inspectors than last year
  • Top 10 most cited OSHA violations
  • Regulatory activities
  • OSHA update to training modules on Hurricane Recovery Assistance on its website
  • Guidance on reportable incidents
  • CAS (Compliance Assistance Specialist) – non-enforcement positions
  • National Fall Safety events
  • Agreements to share information between DOJ, EPA and OSHA

Best Practices Share Presentations
Scott Knowlen (Cianbro) presented to the committee on Cianbro’s “Beyond Zero” corporate safety program. The focus of the Beyond Zero culture is to promote the concept that everyone goes home in better condition than they came to work. The program tries to get employees to connect with the reason they personally should work safe (i.e. go home to your family at night) and to focus on identifying, eliminating or mitigating exposures, not on preventing injuries. It also challenges employees to understand why the “at risk” behavior made sense in a given set of circumstances.

Scott Mims (Sundt) gave a presentation on the implementation of “safety conversation cards,” which are used as training tools at Sundt. The color-coded cards are used for anyone on a project site to report safety violations or other unsafe behaviors or conditions they observe. The cards are divided into six categories: PPE, State of Mind, Work Area Conditions, Construction Equipment, Work Action or Habit, and Communication and Training. The cards have served as a driver for their desired behavior, which is workforce engagement and interaction with respect to safety on the job site. The program teaches employees how to approach co-workers, including training on how to focus on behaviors, not individuals.  Employees are encouraged to be as descriptive as possible in completing the cards and the information is gathered and shared with the project team, allowing them to use data to address larger safety trends at a higher level.

Other News and Highlights

September 1, 2016: Please join us in extending congratulations to our very own Dean McKenzie for being selected as director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction. The official announcement posted on September 1st.

July 18, 2016: Long-time Safety Committee member, Ron Sokol was appointed by Labor Secretary Perez to serve as the Public Representative on the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH). There are only two public spots.