Safety Excellence Initiative

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Safety Excellence Initiative

In 1997 MCAA announced its first ever National Safety Excellence Initiative. The purpose was to establish a perpetual initiative that would provide unsurpassed mechanical construction and service industry-specific safety services for MCAA, MSCA, PCA and NCPWB members. More than two decades later, the initiative continues to grow with considerable momentum. The primary services include:

  • Educational Resources
  • Annual Safety Directors’ Conference
  • Safety and Health Webinars
  • Safety Excellence Awards Programs
  • Members Only Safety Issues List Serve (Safety-Talk)
  • Timely Information on Urgent Topics/Issues
  • Telephone Consulting Services
  • Regulatory and Legislative Advocacy

Read on to learn more about what's new in the field or find safety-related resources.

What's New

Skin cancer is a major concern in the mechanical construction and service industry. Every year more than 5 million cases of skin cancer are treated nationwide. The vast majority of skin cancer cases are attributed to UV radiation from the sun. Working in the sun without the proper protection substantially increases the risk of developing skin cancer.

Accident/incident investigation allows you to identify hazards and unsafe behaviors so that you can implement measures to prevent recurrence. MCAA’s Model Accident/Incident Investigation Program will help contractors to quickly and easily establish an effective investigation program.

Now is the time to prepare your fitters, plumbers, and service techs for the looming dog days of summer. By providing them with the knowledge they’ll need to prevent heat stress related illnesses, you ensure their safety down the road.

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.

Lifts are critical to the successful performance of mechanical contracting work, but injuries can occur when workers aren’t informed about how to use them properly or don’t follow safe work practices. MCAA’s safety training video on the subject, and the accompanying materials, will educate workers to avoid these injuries.

Each year in the United States, June 1st through November 30th is considered hurricane season. The earliest in a year that a hurricane struck in the U.S. was June 9, 1966 when hurricane Alma slammed into Florida and Georgia affecting several other east coast states as well. Because hurricanes can wreak havoc on mechanical construction and service businesses, you may want to consider planning ahead.

MCAA member safety performance has steadily excelled since the association kicked off its perpetual Safety Excellence Initiative in 1998. Among participants in the association’s annual Safety Statistics and Awards Program the aggregate incidence rates for recordable injury cases, lost workday cases, and fatality cases dropped substantially between 1998 and 2018. MCAA congratulates you for 20 consecutive years of safety excellence and looks forward to helping you continue to achieve it over the next 20 years and beyond.

U.S. vehicle fatalities in 2018 exceeded 40,000, a 14% increase over the level just four years ago (2014). In 2017, the most recent year for which data on vehicle fatalities caused by distracted driving is available, there were 3,166 fatalities known to be caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving includes texting and cell phone use while driving, as well as other types of poor driving behaviors. MCAA resources can help you curb these behaviors.

Mechanical industry workers are much safer now than they were in the past. For example, the aggregate MCAA member incidence rate for recordable worker injuries fell over a 21 year period from 8.2 in 1998 to 1.2 in 2018, and the lost workday cases incidence rate fell from 3.9 in 1998 to 0.2 in 2018. However, there is still work to do, especially in the areas of manual handling of materials/physical stress, falls, and struck by object hazards. Recent data shared with us by long-time partner in safety CNA highlights where we need to focus our attention concerning mechanical industry injury frequency and severity. The data is specific to MCAA member firms insured by CNA.

Murray Company in Los Angeles, California opened its doors to over 225 contractors to learn fabrication, process and digital integration.  

Give Construction Workers Quick Access to Safety Information

Do your mechanical construction workers need a quick reference to help them work safely? MCAA’s Safety Manual for Mechanical Construction Workers provides critical information on everything from aerial lift safety to preventing overexposure to zinc. Members can download the manual free as a benefit of membership, or purchase print copies for their workers who prefer them.

National Construction Safety Week is a celebration of safe work practices by national and global construction firms. The celebration takes place each spring to remind construction workers and supervisors how important workplace safety is every week of every year. This year’s celebration takes place May 6 – 10.

Put Safety at Fab Shop Workers’ Fingertips

Do your fab shop workers need a quick reference for working safely in the shop? MCAA’s Safety Manual for Mechanical Fabrication Shop Workers will provide them with critical information on everything from working safely with overhead and gantry cranes to preventing overexposure to manganese while performing hot work. Members can download the manual free as a benefit of membership, or purchase print copies for their workers who prefer them.

If workers inhale a large enough concentration of microscopic crystalline silica particles it can lead to silicosis, lung cancer, and other health problems. MCAA’s Guide to Silica Safety provides mechanical construction employers with the information they need to help their workers protect themselves.

There may be a defect in a dorsal d-ring utilized in ExoFit NEX™ harnesses manufactured between January 2016 and December 2018.  3M Fall Protection urges all affected users to inspect the harnesses immediately. They should not be used until they pass inspection.

MCAA recently added information to its safety bulletin and model program on confined spaces in construction to emphasize that even when employers are in compliance with OSHA’s confined spaces in construction standard, they are still required to comply with applicable parts of the agency’s welding and cutting standard.

In the mechanical industry more than 50% of falls from elevation are falls from ladders. Most of the time it’s because our workers are reaching out too far, or carrying tools or materials in their hands while climbing. However, there are many other reasons for falls from ladders and this video can help you train your workers to recognize and avoid all of them.

MCAA president Mike Brandt and CNA construction segment director Mark Wilke presented five MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards at MCAA19 in Phoenix. The participating firms were judged on the quality of their safety programs, innovative safety initiatives, and overall safety performance in 2018.

Justin Azbill Named Safety Professional of the Year at MCAA19

Justin Azbill of J.C. Cannistraro is the first recipient of the new MILWAUKEE TOOL Safety Professional of the Year Award. In presenting the award, Bill Hughes of MILWAUKEE TOOL said, “The incredible present-day emphasis on safety in the mechanical construction industry helped us realize the need to recognize the safety and health professionals that actually make the safe workplaces happen.” The award will be presented annually to the most deserving safety professional in the industry.

MCAA’s long-time partner in safety CNA has extensive expertise in fleet and driver safety. The firm is sharing distracted driving prevention solutions with MCAA, including a guide on limiting driver distractions from cell phone use, and a bulletin introducing small business (bSafeMobile) and large business (FleetSafer) technology solutions for distracted driving prevention.

Safety Directors’ Conference Highlights the Near Future of Safety in America

MCAA’s 2019 Safety Directors’ Conference included five general session presentations, including a presentation on the Near Future of Safety in America by Dr. David Michaels, immediate past Assistant Secretary of Labor (OSHA).

OSHA recently published a final rule modifying its recordkeeping regulation that required employers with 250 or more employees to submit recordkeeping forms 300 (log of work-related injuries and illnesses), 301 (incident report form), and 300A (annual summary of work-related injuries and illnesses). The new rule eliminates the obligation for the larger employers to submit their forms 300 and 301.

For the 16th consecutive year attendance at MCAA’s annual Safety Directors’ Conference increased substantially. The conference was presented last week in Orlando, Florida to a record crowd of 286 attendees, who enjoyed 17 educational sessions addressing the most current mechanical industry-specific safety and health topics and issues. They also appreciated several networking and team building opportunities throughout the conference.

MCAA congratulates University Mechanical Contractors for working more than 1 million hours without an OSHA recordable injury or illness.

Online OSHA 10- and 30-hour construction safety standards courses, and the OSHA 10-hour general industry safety standards course (for fabrication shops and mechanical service work) are available to MCAA and MSCA members at discount prices.

Upcoming Safety Resources
These MCAA Safety Resources Were NEW for 2018! Do You Have Your Copies?
Respiratory Protection
Safety Resources on Respiratory Protection
MCAA's worker safety training video on respiratory protection for mechanical construction and service workers covers mandatory respiratory protection training requirements for workers using air-purifying respirators. A pocket guide, training documentation sheet, 20-question multiple choice test and answer key are also available. And, MCAA offers a model program on the topic. All of these resources are available to members for free.
Safety-Talk Icon
Safety-Talk is direct e-mail communication to more than 250 MCAA member firm safety professionals, and other individuals responsible for workplace safety and health in their companies. The TEAM MCAA community that makes up Safety-Talk shares safety and health related experiences, programs, solutions to problems, and other information in a timely manner. If you would like more information, or would like to participate on Safety-Talk, send an e-mail to Pete Chaney.
OSHA Recordkeeping
OSHA recently published changes to its existing recordkeeping rule, which now requires affected employers to submit work-related injury and illness information to OSHA annually. To help members comply with these changes, MCAA:
  • Provided members with an MCAA Safety Bulletin highlighting key changes to the existing rule, and summarizing the rule changes.
  • Is working to identity and provide the best available technology to help members comply with the new requirements as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
  • Addressed the topic in detail at the 2017 Safety Directors’ Conference.