Category: Safety

CDC Alters Guidelines on Facility Cleaning & Disinfection for COVID-19

The CDC has revised its guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 can land on surfaces, and it’s possible for people to become infected if they touch those surfaces and then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes. However, it has been determined that the risk of infection from touching a surface is low. The CDC now believes that the most reliable way to prevent infection is to regularly wash hands and use hand sanitizers. When there have been no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in a given space, cleaning only once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove the virus from surfaces in the space.

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Join MCAA and Participate in COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction, April 19-23, 2021

MCAA and much of the construction industry will be participating in COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction during the week of April 19-23, 2021. MCAA encourages you to join us and participate! The purpose of the safety week is to support the CDC’s campaign to raise awareness about the safety, effectiveness, and benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC is providing an Essential Workers COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit to help affected employers educate their workers about COVID-19 vaccines. The toolkit includes:

  • A customizable letter you can send to your employees with information about vaccine awareness educational offerings;
  • Content for company newsletters and social media sources;
  • A PowerPoint presentation on COVID-19 vaccines; and
  • Key messages for all affected workers.

MCAA encourages you take advantage of these materials. Setting aside a few minutes during the safety week to bring your workers up to speed on the vaccines could be very beneficial to your company. A few options to consider for delivering the information to your workers include:

  • A COVID-19 vaccine awareness safety meeting;
  • A short duration vaccine awareness safety talk each day throughout the week;
  • A COVID-19 vaccine awareness safety Lunch & Learn; and/or
  • Worker access to the Wednesday, April 21, 2021 vaccine awareness webinar, which will be presented by the CDC and NIOSH from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET by way of NIOSH Zoom. REGISTER

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Join MCAA and Participate in COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction, April 19-23, 2021

MCAA and much of the construction industry will be participating in COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction during the week of April 19-23, 2021. MCAA encourages you to join us and participate! The purpose of the safety week is to support the CDC’s campaign to raise awareness about the safety, effectiveness, and benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC is providing an Essential Workers COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit to help affected employers educate their workers about COVID-19 vaccines. The toolkit includes:

  • A customizable letter you can send to your employees with information about vaccine awareness educational offerings;
  • Content for company newsletters and social media sources;
  • A PowerPoint presentation on COVID-19 vaccines; and
  • Key messages for all affected workers.

MCAA encourages you take advantage of these materials. Setting aside a few minutes during the safety week to bring your workers up to speed on the vaccines could be very beneficial to your company. A few options to consider for delivering the information to your workers include:

  • A COVID-19 vaccine awareness safety meeting;
  • A short duration vaccine awareness safety talk each day throughout the week;
  • A COVID-19 vaccine awareness safety Lunch & Learn; and/or
  • Worker access to the Wednesday, April 21, 2021 vaccine awareness webinar, which will be presented by the CDC and NIOSH from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET by way of NIOSH Zoom.

MCAA will provide you with the webinar registration information as soon as it becomes available.

Be Prepared for OSHA’s COVID-19 Special Emphasis Program (SEP) Enforcement!

The new administration is putting a lot of pressure on OSHA to perform COVID-19 related inspections and enforce the agency’s guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. OSHA’s new Special Emphasis Program (SEP) on COVID-19 gives the agency the impetus it needs to do just that. Employers should prepare for the possibility of unprogrammed and programmed COVID-19 inspections.

Unprogrammed Inspections:

To start, make sure you know your rights as an employer, so that you will not unnecessarily provide OSHA with information that could result in a citation. Unprogrammed inspections typically result from the mandatory reporting of a fatality, an employee complaint, or a referral from another government agency. When an inspection is unprogrammed you can limit the scope of the compliance officer’s inspection to the reason for the unprogrammed inspection. For example, if an employee complains to OSHA that the portable toilets are not being regularly sanitized, and that complaint results in an unprogrammed inspection, you can limit OSHA to inspecting only those toilets and prevent the compliance officer from seeing other areas of the jobsite. However, compliance officers can issue citations for safety violations they identify while on the way to inspect the subjects of unprogrammed inspection, so choose the path and mode of transportation to that subject area wisely.  

  • Compliance officers are required to hold pre-inspection conferences. Make sure the conference occurs. There have been cases where compliance officers have omitted this required step in the process;
  • Make sure your company is represented at the conference by someone who knows what to ask and understands how to respond;   
  • The instant the conference begins your company representative should ask the compliance officer for the reason for the inspection;
  • If it is an unprogrammed inspection, limit the compliance officer to the area of the jobsite where the incident that resulted in the inspection occurred, i.e., where the fatality occurred, the specific area of the employee complaint, or the specific area stated in the referral; and  
  • Never leave a compliance officer alone to wander the jobsite. Even though it is an unprogrammed inspection, if a compliance officer sees a violation, he or she can still issue a citation that is unrelated to the reason for the unprogrammed inspection.

Programmed Inspections:

Programmed inspections are randomly selected by OSHA from Dodge Reports. Get  prepared ahead of time in case your company is working on a project that comes up for a programmed COVID-19 inspection. To get prepared, consider what the compliance officers are most likely to look for during the inspection process, and what standards that they are most likely to cite.

Based on OSHA’s most recent COVID-19 compliance directive its compliance officers will be looking specifically for the following items during COVID-19 inspections:

  • Evidence of retaliation against workers for actions related to the virus;
  • Use of face coverings or masks throughout the workplace;
  • Active encouragement of workers to stay home if they are sick;
  • Proper social distancing and accommodating workers with telework where possible;
  • Emphasis on proper respiratory etiquette;
  • Emphasis on proper hand hygiene;
  • Routine environmental cleaning; and
  • Planning for possible infectious disease outbreaks in the workplace.

Since OSHA does not currently have a COVID-19 standard, the agency uses existing standards to enforce worker COVID-19 protection. When performing COVID-19 inspections the agency is most likely to issues citations from provisions in the following standards and its general duty clause.

Mechanical Service and Fabrication Shops:

  • 29 CFR 1904 – Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses;
  • 29 CFR 1910.132 – General Requirements – Personal Protective Equipment;
  • 29 CFR 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection;
  • 29 CFR 1910.141 – Sanitation;
  • 29 CFR 1910.145 – Specification for Accident Prevention Signs and Tags;
  • 29 CFR 1910.1020 – Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records;
  • 29 CFR 1910.1030 – Bloodborne Pathogens; and
  • Section 5(a)(1) – General Duty Clause – From the OSH Act of 1970.

Mechanical Construction:

  • 29 CFR 1904 – Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses;
  • 29 CFR 1926.28 – General Requirements – Personal Protective Equipment;
  • 29 CFR 1926.33 – Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records;
  • 29 CFR 1926.51 – Sanitation;
  • 29 CFR 1926.103 – Respiratory Protection;
  • 29 CFR 1926.200 – Accident Prevention Signs and Tags; and
  • Section 5(a)(1) – General Duty Clause from the OSH Act of 1970.

If you have any questions or need any assistance protecting your workers from COVID-19 orpreparing your company for possible OSHA COVID-19 related enforcement, please contact Pete Chaney at pchaney@mcaa.org or 301-990-2214.

MCAA Members Invited to Participate in NECA’s Safety Professionals Conference

Registration is now open for NECA’s virtual, industry-wide safety professionals conference, to be held this May 25-26, 2021. For the first time in NECA history, the 2021 NSPC will be open to NECA members and non-members, allowing industry professionals a chance to gain the full value of NECA’s renowned safety education and networking. Attendees will experience two days of keynotes from leadership and safety experts, breakout sessions, a virtual exhibit hall, lunch entertainment and networking opportunities.

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Resource Highlight: MCAA’s Industry-Specific COVID-19 Safety Resources

Each week, MCAA will highlight one or more of the educational resources that are free to MCAA members as a benefit of membership. This week, we focus on MCAA’s industry-specific COVID-19 safety resources, because nothing is more important than the health and safety of your workforce.

MCAA’s Safety Excellence Initiative offers these COVID-19 resources:

You Might Also Like MCAA’s Other Safety Resources

Learn more about safety and health in our industry and access safety-related resources in these locations:

If you have questions about any of these resources or MCAA’s Safety Excellence Initiative, contact Pete Chaney.

The Next Qualified Level Arc Flash Safety Training Webinars Scheduled for April 22, 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 April 22, 2021. The first webinar will take place from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET, and the second is from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET.

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 April, the webinar will be taught again twice on May 20, 2021. Questions? Contact Pete Chaney.

What to Look for in OSHA’s COVID-19 NEP

There may be some good news regarding OSHA’s new National Emphasis Program (NEP) on enforcing worker protections against COVID-19. Despite the Office of the Inspector General’s February 2021 recommendation that OSHA promulgate an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19, it appears that the agency will postpone development of an ETS in favor of the NEP. Here’s what you should know about the NEP to protect your company from OSHA citations.

NEP INSPECTION TYPES

Unprogrammed Inspections

  • OSHA’s primary emphasis will be on unprogrammed inspections triggered by

1st Fatalities;

2nd Complaints; and/or

3rd Referrals.

Programmed Inspections

  • OSHA’s secondary emphasis will be on programmed inspections.
  • There are two tiers of “high risk” employers being targeted by OSHA, Primary Target Industries and Secondary Target Industries.
  • The agency’s emphasis concerning programmed inspections first will be on Primary Target Industries, such as dental care, hospitals, health care, nursing homes, ambulance services, etc.
  • Construction falls into the Secondary Target Industries category along with agriculture, manufacturing, and certain types of transportation.

Programmed Inspections in Construction

Programmed inspection locations will be selected randomly from a list of construction worksites (F.W. Dodge Reports). The emphasis will be on larger projects that are 30% to 60% complete.

What Compliance Officers Will be Looking to Find

OSHA compliance officers will be looking for obvious signs of non-compliance with the agency’s February 2021 COVID-19 Guidance to Prevent the Spread in the Workplace (MCAA Summary). MCAA urges you to pay close attention to your:

  • Prevention Programs;
  • Return to Work Criteria;
  • Social Distancing Measures;
  • Engineering Controls;
  • Face Coverings and PPE; and
  • Sanitization, Cleaning, and Disinfecting Practices.

Probable Citations

  • General Duty Clause
  • Respiratory Protection Standard
  • Personal Protective Equipment Standards

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OSHA Launches National Emphasis Program to Protect High Risk Workers from COVID-19

The new administration’s January 21, 2021 Executive Order, Protecting Worker Safety and Health, requires OSHA to evaluate it’s COVID-19 enforcement actions and make improvements where necessary. In response, OSHA has launched a national emphasis program focusing enforcement efforts on companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus. The program also prioritizes employers that retaliate against workers for complaints about unsafe or unhealthy conditions, or for exercising other rights protected by federal law.

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Resource Highlight: MCAA’s Excavation Safety for Mechanical Construction Safety Training Video

Each week, MCAA will highlight one or more of the educational resources that are free to MCAA members as a benefit of membership. This week, we focus on MCAA’s Excavation Safety Training Video, which teaches workers to use protective systems and safe work practices to ensure their work in excavations will be as safe as any other part of the job.

Workers will learn:

  • How soil types govern protective system safety requirements
  • How weather conditions can change soil types
  • When it’s safe to enter an excavation
  • Why atmospheric monitoring is so important
  • When protective systems are needed
  • The importance of effective access and egress
  • What to do if they see anything that could be hazardous
  • What to do in case of an excavation cave-in

Download or play the video

There’s More…

Excavation cave-ins happen so quickly there is literally no time to react, so MCAA offers accompanying materials to assist members in highlighting key training points, documenting worker training and confirming that workers understand the training concepts:

Highlight Key Training Points

Download the Pocket Guide

Document Worker Training

Download the Documentation Sheet

Confirm that Workers Understand the Training Concepts

Download the Test

Download the Test Answer Key

Want Even More Safety Resources?

MCAA has you covered, with a full range of resources to help you protect your workers from injury and comply with applicable safety regulations. Here’s where to find them:

On our Direct Links to MCAA & MSCA Safety Resources page, where they’re listed by category with links.

Go there now

In the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.

Visit the Resource Center

Have Questions or Need Personal Assistance?

Contact MCAA’s Pete Chaney.

Need Guidance On Your Electrical Safety Lockout/Tagout Program to Comply with NFPA 70E – 2021? MCAA Has What You Need

NFPA 70E is the industry consensus standard for electrical safety in the workplace. It is part of the National Electrical Codes, and it is revised by the National Fire Protection Association every three years. The most current version is NFPA 70E – 2021. Parts of the standard help us protect our service technicians from electrical shock and arc flash hazards. One of the provisions in the standard calls for affected employers to establish a lockout/tagout program that is specific to electrical safety. MCAA’s Model Lockout/Tagout Program for Electrical Safety, which addresses work on mechanical equipment pushing 480 volts or less, was recently revised to make it consistent with NFPA 70E – 2021.

Would a Zero Injury Safety Award from NMAPC Benefit Your Company?

The National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee (NMAPC) is now accepting online applications for its 21st Annual Zero Injury Safety Awards® (ZISA®), which will recognize zero-injury achievements in calendar year 2020. ZISA® celebrates the efforts of industrial business owners/clients, union contractors and building trades in achieving world-class safety performance on their projects. To be eligible, projects must be completed under the terms of the National Maintenance Agreement.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ZISA® CRITERIA

APPLY NOW

The Next Qualified Level Arc Flash Safety Training Webinars Scheduled for March 18, 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 March 18, 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 March, the webinar will be taught again twice on April 22, 2021. Questions? Contact Pete Chaney.

Need to Update Your Electrical Safety Program to Comply with NFPA 70E – 2021? MCAA Has What You Need

NFPA 70E is the industry consensus standard for electrical safety in the workplace. It is part of the National Electrical Codes, and it is revised by the National Fire Protection Association every three years. The most current version is NFPA 70E – 2021. Parts of the standard help us protect our service technicians from electrical shock and arc flash hazards. One of the provisions in the standard calls for affected employers to establish an electrical safety in the workplace program. MCAA’s Model Electrical Safety in the Workplace Program, which addresses work on mechanical equipment pushing 480 volts or less, was recently revised to make it consistent with NFPA 70E – 2021.

Fluke Recalling Certain Clamp Meters

Fluke is recalling certain models of its clamp meters. The first of the two recalls addresses meters manufactured at various times throughout 2019 and 2020. The concern is a manufacturing error that may render a safety function inoperable. The error could severely limit or eliminate protection against arc explosion, burns, or electric shock. To help protect your workers, determine whether your company has any of the affected clamp meters. If so, stop use of the meters immediately and follow the instructions for repair. LEARN MORE

The second of the two recalls addresses meters manufactured at various times throughout 2010, 2011, and 2012. In this case, the concern is a circuit assembly that may not be properly fastened, which could result in inaccurate voltage readings presenting shock, electrocution, and thermal burn hazards. LEARN MORE

Scissors Lifts Load Sensing/Operation Issue

SkyJack, Genie, and possibly other brands of scissors lifts that have been outfitted with load sensors are experiencing problems. While the sensors help the user comply with the recently revised ANSI A92.20 standard’s load sensing requirements, the lifts’ new sensor systems allow the user(s) to elevate with an overload and may leave workers stranded at elevation.

This occurs when platform elevation is stopped at around 10 feet high or higher. The overload light comes on and the lift will no longer operate. Apparently, the load sensors are in the lift cylinder, so they cannot start measuring actual platform load until the main lift cylinder is almost vertical.

If your company is using these types of lifts, make sure your workers know the lifts’ load limits and have an alternative way to accurately calculate the total load (for example, their body weight(s) plus the weight of tools, materials, etc.).

It is also a good idea to have a plan to get the workers down safely if needed. This might involve proper use of the lifts’ rescue functions or use of another nearby lift. 

Need the Bottom Line on OSHA’s Recent COVID-19 Guidance? MCAA’s Summary Has It

OSHA recently released guidance to help employers protect their workers and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the workplace. MCAA’s new summary highlights the bottom line items in the areas of COVID-19 Prevention Programs, Return to Work Criteria, Social Distancing Measures, Engineering Controls, Face Coverings and PPE, and Sanitization, Cleaning, and Disinfecting Practices.

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Congratulations to MCAA/Milwaukee Tool Safety Professional of the Year Cheryl Wiese

MCAA and Milwaukee Tool congratulate Cheryl Wiese for receiving the 2020 Safety Professional of the Year award, which was announced last month at MCAA’s 18th Annual Safety Directors’ Conference. Cheryl is the Safety Director for Modern Companies in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She leads the extremely strong safety culture across five divisions at five different locations throughout the Midwest. Cheryl and her team recently implemented a safety down day across four office locations to provide needed reminders and training to all the crews who were working more than 30 jobs. She ensured that the company’s senior leadership and project managers were actively involved in facilitating the safety training and reinforcing the company’s positive safety culture. Warmest congratulations to Cheryl from MCAA and Milwaukee Tool!

User Safety Notice for MSA’s Latchways Standard Self-Retracting Lifelines

MSA has issued a user safety notice to inform users of received field reports for a limited number of Latchways Standard Self-Retracting Lifelines (SRL) in which some internal bolts came loose. MSA has not received any reports of injuries associated with this condition. However, it is requesting that users perform the actions outlined in the notice. Over time, the loose bolts will be identifiable by the user as extraction of the cable from the SRL housing will no longer be possible. However, MSA’s investigation has determined that this may be preceded by a window of time in which a fall may not be arrested.

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Need to Learn About the Changes Made to NFPA 70E for 2021? Join Our Webcast on February 9th

Join us for a 45-minute executive summary of the key changes to the NFPA 70E 2021 standard, free for MCAA/MSCA members. The instructors will also provide critical updates from OSHA on how they intend to enforce electrical and arc flash safety in 2021. There will be two webcasts on February 9th. The first webcast will be presented from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. ET. The second will be presented from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. ET.

BROCHURE

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