Safety Excellence Initiative

Earplugs and Mask

Protecting Your Company's Most Valuable Asset: Your People

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

Triangle Enterprises, Inc. is offering both typical and fire-retardant barrier masks. The company converted part of its production to making the masks to help with the shortages brought on by COVID-19.

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.

OSHA recently revised its plan for enforcing safe workplace requirements concerning COVID-19. The memorandum the agency sent to its regional administrators provides instructions and guidance for handling COVID-19-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports. The previous COVID-19 enforcement guidance document sent to the regional administrators back in April has been rescinded.

Certain 3M™ Fall Protection Specific DBI-SALA® Delta™ & Exofit XP™ Arc Flash Harnesses with an Integrated 18 in. Nylon D-Ring Extension failed arc flash testing. The company has issued a STOP USE NOTICE to all affected customers. The affected harnesses are listed in the stop use notice.

OSHA recently sent revised enforcement guidance to it’s regional administrators regarding affected employers’ obligation to record and report work-related cases of COVID-19. The memorandum makes it clear that employers must make a good faith effort to determine whether a case of COVID-19 is work-related, and if so, record and report the illnesses if the other required recording/recording criteria also applies.

Some of the chemicals being used to disinfect jobsite surfaces can cause COVID-19 like symptoms in recently disinfected areas without adequate ventilation and/or other protective measures.

There are two new sources of COVID-19 PPE, cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, etc. for MCAA members. One is the company MONTCO and the other is long-time MCAA partner RESCUE ONE. Both companies are credible, reliable, and have good relationships with MCAA.

Based on new COVID-19 research the CDC has recently changed their guidelines regarding discontinuing isolation for individuals with symptoms of the virus who are caring for themselves at home. The CDC’s change increases the period of recommended isolation by 3 days, from 7 to 10 days after symptoms begin. Please be sure to change your company’s COVID-19 exposure control plans accordingly.

Using an effective hand sanitizer is one of the most important things everyone can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is especially true on construction jobsites and in mechanical service areas where there is no running water.

MCAA’s long-time partner Milwaukee Tool has updated their COVID-19 Resource Guide to include additional content on best practices for remote meetings, eSERVICE tool repairs and digital training resources.

MCAA partner CNA is sharing its risk control bulletin on Hygiene Controls in the Workplace with MCAA members. The bulletin addresses known hazards, Workplace recovery, personal hygiene and protection planning, and important reminders.

Many construction owners, general contractors, and construction managers are now requiring their contractors and subcontractors to produce either a Company COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan, or a Site-Specific COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan. If your company is required to produce either plan, MCAA’s new easily tailorable Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan will make meeting the requirement quick and easy.

Questions & Answers from MCAA’s Webinar #8: COVID-19 OSHA Enforcement Preparation

Several great questions came out of MCAA’s Webinar #8: COVID-19 OSHA Enforcement Preparation, which was presented on April 17, 2020. See those questions and the answers provided by attorney and presenter Adele Abrams.

As positive cases of COVID-19 increase around the nation there is speculation that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will increase its enforcement efforts. The agency will want to ensure that employers are making a good faith effort to help protect their workers from contracting the virus.

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.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) respiratory protection standard requires respirators used by workers to be certified by OSHA’s research arm, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). However, that requirement has been suspended temporarily due to a shortage of NIOSH-certified N95 respirators in the United States. OSHA, in agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently released guidance to their regional administrators outlining enforcement discretion to permit the use of filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) certified under certain standards of other countries or jurisdictions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released enforcement guidance for recording cases of COVID-19. Until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its record-keeping requirements to require employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer.

MCAA’s long-time partner Milwaukee Tool has produced a COVID-19 Resource Guide for MCAA members. The guide addresses tool cleaning, operations protocols, digital tool training, shipping and inventory updates, Milwaukee Tool’s #TOGETHERweSTAND CAMPAIGN, and how to stay in contact with Milwaukee Tool.

MCAA recently teamed up with TYFOOM to provide members with an opportunity to make microlearning safety training available to their workers. As a benefit of membership, members that subscribe to the service will receive a 10% discount off the standard price of the service.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidance to its regional administrators outlining enforcement discretion to permit the use of filtering facepiece respirators and air-purifying elastomeric respirators that are certified under certain standards of other countries or jurisdictions. The guidelines also address enforcement discretion to permit use when the equipment was previously certified under the standards of other countries or jurisdictions, but are beyond their manufacturer’s recommended shelf life.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidance to its regional administrators outlining enforcement discretion to permit the use of filtering facepiece respirators and air-purifying elastomeric respirators that are certified under certain standards of other countries or jurisdictions. The guidelines also address enforcement discretion to permit use when the equipment was previously certified under the standards of other countries or jurisdictions, but are beyond their manufacturer’s recommended shelf life.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidelines to help combat supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering face piece respirators. The agency’s guidelines address alternatives to N95s, and extended use and reuse of the respirators. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is the research arm of OSHA, also released N95 guidelines addressing extended use and reuse of the respirators, specifically for healthcare settings.  

Whenever it’s feasible, it’s best to hire a reputable third party to perform facility cleaning and disinfection services. However, if it will be necessary for you or someone else from your company to perform the cleaning and disinfection service, the following guidelines may help protect that person from exposure to COVID-19.

With so many of us working remotely it’s important to consider the ergonomic design of our workspaces. MCAA’s long-time partner CNA is sharing with us Ergonomic Tips for Working Remotely.

MCAA developed a best practices guidance document to help protect mechanical construction and service workers from COVID-19 exposure. MCAA and the United Association partnered with several industry experts to gather all facts and proper procedures concerning this virus. Because MCAA members are using the safety talk for worker training, MCAA developed a 20-question multiple choice test and accompanying answer key to help members document that the training occurred, and that trainees understand the training content.

Upcoming Safety Resources
Have You Seen All of Our 2019 Safety Resources?
MCAA continuously develops new safety and health resources to protect your company’s most valuable asset—your people. The following resources were released in 2019. All are free to members in electronic format as a benefit of membership, so get your copies today! Watch for more safety resources in 2020. Looking for something on another safety topic? Find it here.
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
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.