Category: Safety

MCAA’s 18th Annual Safety Directors’ Conference Scores Big

MCAA’s 18th annual Safety Directors’ Conference, which was presented virtually this year due to the pandemic, was attended by more than 400 participants, including mechanical industry safety professionals, member firm principals, MCA local affiliates, and United Association OSHA instructors.

We came together for world-class education on the safety and health topics and issues that are currently affecting the mechanical construction and service companies nationwide.

Conference participants received opportune safety messages in keynote presentations from renown disaster response physician Dr. Dan Diamond, space shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane, and safety training expert Dale Lesinski. The group also participated in educational sessions covering NFPA 70E, tool safety, Legionella, the new ANSI A92 aerial work platform standards, positive safety culture change, refrigerant safety, microlearning, asbestos, opioids and reasonable suspicion, and the biological basis of complacency. Conference sessions are available to registered attendees until February 19, 2021.

Next year’s conference will be presented January 18-20, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Mark your calendars!

Tomorrow (January 22) is the Last Day to Apply for the MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards

The annual MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards program honors MCAA member companies’ successful safety programs and innovative safety initiatives because nothing is more important than the health and safety of our workers. Take a moment to celebrate your company’s successes in the age of COVID-19 – Apply Today!

To be eligible to win, a company needs to submit an application by January 22, 2021 describing:

• Its safety and health program in 2020 and why it believes it deserves the award, and
• An innovation that helped it achieve a high degree of safety excellence during the year

Companies will be divided into five categories by number of hours worked, and a winner will be chosen in each category. Each winner will receive national recognition and an attractive glass award for display.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Pete Chaney at pchaney@mcaa.org or 301-990-2214.

APPLY NOW

MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards Application Deadline EXTENDED to January 22

MCAA and long-time safety partner CNA are extending the deadline for members to apply for the most prestigious safety awards in the mechanical construction and service industry. The annual MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards program honors MCAA member companies’ successful safety programs and innovative safety initiatives because nothing is more important than the health and safety of our workers. Take a moment to celebrate your company’s successes in the age of COVID-19 – APPLY TODAY!

To be eligible to win, a company needs to submit an application by January 22, 2021 describing:

• Its safety and health program in 2020 and why it believes it deserves the award, and
• An innovation that helped it achieve a high degree of safety excellence during the year

Companies will be divided into five categories by number of hours worked, and a winner will be chosen in each category. Each winner will receive national recognition and an attractive glass award for display.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Pete Chaney at pchaney@mcaa.org or 301-990-2214.

APPLY NOW

Applications for our Industry’s Highest Safety Awards, the MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards, Are Due this Friday

MCAA and long-time safety partner CNA bring you the prestigious MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards Program. The annual awards honor MCAA member companies’ successful safety programs and innovative safety initiatives because nothing is more important than the health and safety of our workers. Take a moment to celebrate your company’s successes in the age of COVID-19 – apply today!

To be eligible to win, a company needs to submit an application by January 15, 2021 describing:

• Its safety and health program in 2020 and why it believes it deserves the award, and
• An innovation that helped it achieve a high degree of safety excellence during the year

Companies will be divided into five categories by number of hours worked, and a winner will be chosen in each category. Each winner will receive national recognition and an attractive glass award for display.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Pete Chaney at pchaney@mcaa.org or 301-990-2214.

APPLY NOW

Need a Fall Rescue Safety Program & Plan? MCAA’s New Model Can Help!

Quick rescue is paramount to keeping workers safe while they are suspended in fall arrest harnesses after falling from an elevation. Having a safety program and plan in place to address the needs of these workers is critical to minimizing suspension trauma and meeting OSHA requirements. MCAA’s model program and accompanying model plan can be tailored to address various project fall arrest system applications and ensure the safety of your company’s most important asset, its workers.

Ideally, suspended workers should be rescued within five minutes. Workers who are suspended longer may suffer from suspension trauma. This condition occurs when a worker is suspended in a harness long enough for the harness straps to negatively affect blood flow. When blood is not circulating properly, vital organs are deprived of oxygen. This can lead to loss of consciousness, permanent organ damage, and ultimately death if a worker is suspended too long.

Fall rescue plans are required by OSHA as referenced in the agency’s fall protection standard for construction.

MCAA’s model program and accompanying model plan will help you develop appropriate fall rescue plans which, when performed properly, will help limit the time that any worker is suspended in a fall arrest harness to less than five minutes.

MODEL PROGRAM & PLAN

The Next Qualified Level Arc Flash Safety Training Webinars Scheduled for January 21, 2021

Make sure your service techs have the up-to-date safety training they need to protect themselves from arc flash and electrical shock hazards while working on equipment pushing 480 volts or less. The session covers all applicable OSHA requirements, NFPA 70E provisions, best practices, and real-world accident information.

VIEW BROCHURE

The next two webinars will be presented on January 21, 2021. The first webinar will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. EST, and the second is from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST.

REGISTER TODAY

Take advantage of the MCAA/MSCA member discounted webinar prices below.

PRICING:

# of Trainees (per company)Cost (per person)
1-5$200/person
6-10$175/person
11-25$150/person
26-50$125/person
51-100$ 100/person
101+Email for Pricing

If you can’t make it in January, the webinar will be taught again twice in February. Please watch the website for dates and times. Questions? Contact Pete Chaney.

CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidelines on When to Quarantine

The CDC recently updated its guidelines on when to quarantine following exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. The new guidelines indicate that people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months, should quarantine immediately. It is considered close contact when:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more;
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19;
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them);
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils; and/or
  • The person sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

LEARN MORE

OSHA Provides New COVID-19 Guidance Regarding Workplace Ventilation

OSHA recently issued new guidance on how to use workplace ventilation systems to reduce exposures to the coronavirus, including efficiency targets for air filters and recommendations for fan use. The guidance calls for employers to install HVAC filters with minimum efficiency reporting value ratings of “13 or higher, where feasible,” and to “consider using” high-efficiency particulate air fan and filtration systems, “especially in higher-risk areas.”

It also urges several stems to increase the flow of outdoor air into indoor areas, including increasing HVAC systems’ outdoor air intake; taking steps to verify that exhaust air is not being pulled back into a building, such as by traveling through open windows or nearby intakes; ensuring exhaust fans in restrooms specifically are “fully functional, operating at maximum capacity, and are set to remain on”; and opening windows and “other sources of fresh air” when possible.

LEARN MORE

CNA Shares Risk Control e-Talks on Business Resiliency

MCAA member CNA, MCAA’s long-time partner in workplace safety, loss control, and risk control, is sharing its Risk Control e-Talks series on Business Resiliency with MCAA members. The series addresses how natural and manmade catastrophes, pandemics, and civil unrest create uncertainty, complexity, and challenges that unfold in real time. The talks provide tips and resources that will help your business thrive during these environments.

LEARN MORE

Every MCAA Member Company’s Top Priority is SAFETY. Register Now for MCAA’s 18th Annual Safety Directors’ Conference on January 19 and 20, 2021

Invest two days to explore our industry’s most important safety subjects and issues at MCAA’s 18th Annual Safety Directors’ Conference. The conference will be presented online on January 19, and 20, 2021. The program features three keynote presentations from renown world-wide disaster response physician Dr. Dan Diamond, space shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane, and safety communications expert Dale Lesinski. The ten topic-specific breakout sessions include subjects such as NFPA70E-2021, opioids & reasonable suspicion, ANSI A92 (Aerial Platform) standards, legionella, microlearning, safety culture change, and much more. MCAA thanks CNA and Milwaukee Tool for sponsoring the conference.

VIEW BROCHURE

REGISTER NOW

MCAA and the UA Led Development of Industry Consensus Standard on Pressure Testing Safety

MCAA, in conjunction with the UA, recently led the development of a new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) industry consensus standard on pressure testing safety. The new standard, ANSI/ASSP A10.35 Safety Requirements for Pressure Testing Steel and Copper Piping Systems, was published on October 16, 2020. The voluntary industry consensus standard is based largely on the MCAA Guide to Steel and Copper Piping System Pressure Testing Safety. The standard’s safety requirements address planning, procedures, checklists, and other items for both hydrostatic and pneumatic pressure testing on steel and copper piping systems.

New Research Shows that Airborne Transmission of COVID-19 Can Occur When Conditions are Right

The CDC recently reported that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur in rare cases under just the right circumstances. In most cases, the virus is transmitted from one person to another in droplet form, and occurs when affected individuals are less than six feet away from the source for 15 minutes or more. That’s because the “droplets” are heavy enough to fall to the ground, and do not stay suspended in air. However, new research indicates that when exposure occurs in enclosed spaces, exposure time is greater than 30 minutes, and some kind of expiratory exertion is taking place, such as shouting, singing, or exercising, the virus can be transmitted in aerosol form (smaller particles suspended in air). Social distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, surface cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, and avoidance of crowded indoor spaces are effective protective measures for both forms of transmission. However, adequate ventilation and avoidance of crowded indoor spaces are especially important when work is being performed in enclosed spaces where circumstances can increase the concentration of suspended small particles carrying the infectious virus. If you believe your workers could be exposed to airborne transmission of the virus, MCAA recommends that you revise your COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan to ensure adequate ventilation and avoidance of crowded indoor spaces in affected work areas.

LEARN MORE

New Tailgate Safety Talks for Refrigerant Work

MCAA/MSCA is pleased to announce a new set of Tailgate Safety Talks on refrigerant safety. Recent changes to ASHRAE’s refrigerant Safety Group Classification System, along with toxicity and flammability characteristics associated with some of the newer refrigerants, prompted production of the new resource. There a total of five new Tailgate Safety Talks addressing:

  1. ASHRAE’s Refrigerant Safety Group Classification System
  2. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for Refrigerants
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Work with Refrigerants
  4. Protection from Refrigerant Toxicity & Flammability Hazards
  5. Some Common Symptoms of Overexposure to Refrigerants

VIEW RESOURCE

New Refrigerant Safety Training Resource

MCAA/MSCA is pleased to announce the release of a new refrigerant safety training resource for members. The resource, which includes a PowerPoint safety training presentation and accompanying notes for the instructors will help you bring your service technicians and other affected workers up to speed on the most current ASHRAE refrigerant designations and safety classifications, safety concerns for new and existing refrigerants, and appropriate protective measures. Trainees will learn about the potential hazards, the potential effects of the various refrigerants on the human body, ASHRAE’s refrigerant Safety Group Classification System, classifications of the new and existing refrigerants that are used most frequently in our industry, where and how to find safety information about the refrigerants they’re using, how to protect themselves from related toxicity, flammability, and physical hazards, common symptoms of overexposure, how to respond to the symptoms, proper refrigerant storage, and more.

LEARN MORE

3M™ PROTECTA® Rebel Self Retracting Lifelines – Pre-Use Inspections Required

A limited number of 3M™ PROTECTA® Rebel Self Retracting Lifelines produced between October 14, 2019 and February 25, 2020 may have a manufacturing issue. However, the issue can be easily detected through a pre-use inspection described in detail by 3M. If after carefully following 3M’s pre-use inspection instructions the SRLs are not working properly, take them out of service immediately, and contact the 3M customer service department at 1-800-328-61446 or by e-mail at 3musfpserviceaction@mmm.com.

LEARN MORE

What You Should Know About OSHA’s Recently Revised Beryllium Standard

On August 31, 2020, OSHA published a final rule revising the beryllium standard for the construction industry. Although it is exceedingly rare for the agency’s beryllium standard to affect mechanical construction employers, if there are operations on any of your jobsites where your workers could be exposed to airborne concentrations of beryllium, you will be required to comply with the standard. For example, if your workers are hanging pipe in an area on a jobsite where abrasive blasting is being performed, it’s conceivable that your workers could be exposed to beryllium, and you would be required to make inquiries, and establish protective measures.

The primary protective measures include:

  • Perform exposure assessments;
  • Prevent your workers from being exposed above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium (0.2 µg/m3 over an 8-hour time weighted average);
  • Prevent your workers from being exposed above the short-term exposure limit for beryllium (2.0 µg/m3, over a 15-minute sampling period);
  • Establish engineering and work practice controls (such as ventilation or enclosure) to limit worker exposure to beryllium;
  • Provide respirators when controls cannot adequately limit exposure;
  • Limit worker access to high-exposure areas;
  • Develop a written exposure control plan;
  • Train your workers on beryllium hazards; and
  • Make medical examinations available to monitor exposed workers and provide medical removal protection to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease.

The original standard took effect on May 20, 2017, but since then, OSHA has only enforced the permissible exposure limit (PEL). However, OSHA will begin enforcing the remaining provisions of the standard, including the revised provisions, which were published in the federal register on August 31, 2020, starting September 30, 2020.

If you have any questions about the standard, please contact Pete Chaney at pchaney@mcaa.org, or 301-990-2214.

Need to Evaluate Your Company’s Ergonomics Program? Check Out this New Safety Resource

MCAA believes that ergonomics should be a standard part of every company’s overall safety program. Recently MCAA partnered with The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), Washington University in St. Louis, and Best Built Plans to develop and record a webinar on Creating a Contractor Ergonomics Program to Reduce Soft Tissue Injuries Among Construction Workers. The webinar is ideal for helping viewers understand the vital components of a successful ergonomics program, and why the components are so vital.

LEARN MORE