2019/20 Developments: MSHA Standards Changes You Need To Know

Every year, the Mine Safety and Health Administration makes several rule changes that will affect businesses in the coming years. Being proactive about updating company practices can help your team more steadily adapt to the changes without risking the fines that accompany noncompliance.

Seeking Data on Quartz Exposure

Respirable silica or quartz is one of the major rulemaking focal points of MSHA currently. On August 28th 2019, the Department of Labor announced a request for information regarding exposure to quartz dust. In particular, the department was examining a possible reduced permissible exposure limit, potential new protective technologies and possible training assistance.

The RFI period lasted for 60 days and ended in October 2019. Although the results of this RFI have not yet been announced, it is likely that some rule changes will come. Additionally, it is possible that some updates to MSHA part 48 training may be necessary.

Training Grants

In 2006, Congress passed the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act. Among other initiatives, this act established grants to help improve mine safety. On September 6, MSHA announced that it is awarding five organizations with grants totaling $400,000. The stated goal of these grants was to help improve safety education and training resources.

All five grants went to colleges and universities that are developing training modules for mining. The topics covered by the proposed training include powered haulage, hazards with mobile equipment visibility, designing and maintaining berms, pre-shift examinations of equipment, mine rescues and recovery, conveyor and mobile equipment interactions and emergency preparedness.

These training modules appear to be in line with the current MSHA 48 and 46 training. Therefore, don’t expect to be required to make changes based on these developments. However, they may help make training more effective and easier.

Examinations of Working Places

In 2017, MSHA published a rule requiring workplace examinations by a site safety professional or another competent person as well as appropriate corrective action and notification for any issues. This rule was challenged in court but was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. It went into full effect on September 30.

Get Expert Help

Keeping up with all the rules and regulations that affect mining operations can be challenging. It can help to have an external consultant audit your safety practices and training. Construction Safety Experts provides in-depth consulting as well as onsite safety staffing and other services. 

Contact us online or call either (866) 463-0669 or (919) 463-0669 to learn more about how we can help you stay compliant with all MSHA rules today!

Don’t Be Shocked: Enforcing & Maintaining NFPA 70E Compliancy

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) is a big deal when it comes to knowledge of electrical hazards and how big of a risk they present for potential fires. When successfully running any construction job or site, it’s important to comply with any and all regulations presented by the NFPA, as they apply to your situation.

In order to avoid injury or death by electrical shock, it’s imperative to comply with the 70E NFPA regulation, which outlines standards the industry should be routinely enforcing for preventing electrical shock in the workplace. Your employees will benefit greatly from an NFPA 70E training course, focusing on electricity hazards and the harm they can inflict. Continue reading to get a better understanding of how both your employees and business can benefit from an NFPA 70E compliant training course. 

Importance of NFPA 70E Training

Your employees will take away quite a bit of knowledge from a 70E training course and though not mandatory by law, they should be mandatory within your workplace. Complying with these standards will help your company and job sites to run on a whole new level of safety efficiency. Knowing your workers are educated in the prevention of electric shock brings peace of mind and fewer accidents.

  • Identify Electrical Hazards: By the end of a 70E compliant course, your employees will be able to identify electrical hazards and causes of electrical shock within the workplace without question. It’s necessary they recognize these hazards right away and on their own, because not every electrical danger comes with a warning sticker. Knowledge like this can save lives.
  • Cause Identification: Independently identifying the cause of electrical fires, shock and arc flashes (electrical explosions or discharges) commonly found with the use of machinery on construction and manufacturing sites is huge as this is a best practice for prevention-if workers can see a potential cause for an accident before it happens, they can create a safer environment to begin with.
  • Recognizing the Effects of Arc Flashes: On a biological level, arc flashes have great potential to do more damage than electrical shock. Typically, arc flashes are the result of human error or machinery malfunction, happening without warning. Injuries resulting from this vary and include severe burns, blindness, hearing loss, shrapnel injuries and poisonous gas inhalation.
  • Selecting Appropriate Protective Equipment: By identifying potential hazards of their work spaces, employees will be able to correctly select the protective equipment they should be wearing every day on the job. So often electrical injuries, especially to the face, are much worse than they would have been if correct protective gear had been worn in the first place.

Too many people are injured by electrical shock within manufacturing and construction companies annually. It’s important to the welfare of your employees and the reputation of your company standards suggested by the NFPA are taught and enforced.

Just a bit of knowledge can change the outcome of an electrical accident. It can be the difference between blindness and sight, or even life and death.

If you’re ready to brush your employees up on NFPA 70E, contact Construction Safety Experts today at (866) 463-0669 or (919) 463-0669!

8 Important Qualities of Effective Crane Safety Training

Whether you are a business owner or an employee, you are well aware there is nothing more important than safety on a job site. Following proper safety protocol can make or break the reputation of a company, therefore it is important to ensure your staff is properly trained to perform a job effectively, efficiently and most of all, safely.

Operating a crane is an important job with a lot of responsibility and risk and the person behind the controls should be beyond knowledgeable about the equipment. Knowing the control panel inside and out is imperative and being well versed in crane safety specifically, is more important than anything.

Moving heavy loads at a construction or manufacturing site is completely unavoidable. While technology has certainly advanced over the years, carefully executed, high quality training and precautions are significantly necessary for workers and operators alike.

Here are 8 very important qualities you should expect from effective crane safety training:

1. Register Notices

Every crane in operation should be federally registered and those operating cranes are required by any reputable company to be certified to operate such machinery under any jobsite conditions. This includes both above and underground sites.

The proper paperwork is where effective crane training starts. Without certification, there is no point in carrying on with the actual training. Working toward that certification is an imperative measure and the very first part of safety training.

2. Providing the Correct Interpretations

Each training session will provide the proper interpretation of crane safety operations and equipment. It’s important for each training attendee to be on the same page as those conducting the training. Crane safety must not be loosely interpreted, it must be established and universal.

3. Creating Capable Workers

In order to operate heavy machinery at such a complex level, specialized knowledge is required. Each attendee should leave training with the same level of expertise, including a complete understanding of proper hand signals communicated by all workers on the team.

4. Jobsite Inspection

All those in training attendance must learn how to evaluate their equipment and load before lifting. Checking machinery for signs of wear and ensuring loads are properly secured and do not exceed the weight limits of the equipment are just some of the vital pieces on the list.

5. Discuss Ground Workers

Crane safety training must include a discussion regarding the well being of the workers on the ground. Everyone on site is responsible for the safety of the job. Workers will learn how to plan lifting operations well in advance to make sure the area is clear when it’s time to enlist the use of the crane.

6. Safety Briefs

Quality crane training will discuss the importance of a daily safety brief on the site. This brief will encompass every aspect of the jobsite, but also when the cranes will be in use. While it seems like a small measure, it will make all the difference from a safety perspective.

7. Cranes Require Time

Heavy equipment requires ample time to get the job done at a slow and steady pace. If crane work is rushed, the chances of an accident will skyrocket. It’s vital to instill in current and future operators hurrying through a job is both ineffective and dangerous.

8. Establish a Checklist

A safety checklist is a must-have at every construction job site, no matter what the nature of the work may be. When cranes are involved, the need for that checklist is dire, as it can prevent accidents leading to fatalities. Crane safety training should involve learning how to properly put together a safety checklist and ensuring all workers stick to it.

If you’re ready to train your team in safety using the best practices available, contact Construction Safety Experts today at (866) 463-0669 or (919) 463-0669 to get started!

5 Simple Safety Tips for Construction Sites

With construction ranking as one of the most dangerous professions, safety should rank high on the minds of those in the industry.

Many of the most important safety practices for construction workers come easily to those who have received a proper education on the subject, but for those who haven’t had that opportunity, here are 5 tips to keep construction sites as safe as possible.

  1. Utilize a Safety Checklist

The first step in ensuring construction site safety is taking stock of all the components. This kind of checklist will draw attention to items of importance – from equipment and electrical elements, to hazard communication.

Knowing all of the components involved in a project allows workers to be conscious of how to work on the site, while keeping aware of any potential risks. A checklist helps to ensure a smooth and safe project goes underway every step of the way.

  1. Follow a Lockout/Tagout System

Those who have worked in construction for any length of time are likely very familiar with lockout/tagout. This system requires that equipment or machinery be properly disabled while maintenance occurs.

Following this kind of procedure ensures workplace safety in a number of ways, particularly in terms of electrical work. It is vital as electrocution is a common culprit for construction injury and even death.

  1. Check Scaffolding

Scaffolding is one of the most common hazards on construction sites, due largely to the fact it is so commonly used and it can so easily be installed or maintained improperly if workers are not properly trained.

Equipment can shift, crack or be altered in an unsafe way during use, resulting in compromised safety. Scaffolding should be regularly inspected for any components that may have been compromised during the course of the job.

  1. Wearing Proper Personal Protective Equipment

This may seem like a no brainer, but many workers will skip on wearing proper personal protective equipment for the sake of comfort, convenience or a simple lack of time and this can be a dangerous game of cutting corners.

The hazards are different on every site, so discretion and wherewithal are necessary. The need for everything from safety glasses and steel-toed boots, to hard hats, should be respected and followed in order to ensure workers’ safety.

  1. Only Operate Machinery if Properly Licensed

Most people who have spent a good portion of their careers in construction understand the importance of only operating equipment if they have received the proper training.

The issue with taking on a piece of machinery when not trained is that a worker can make a mistake without having any idea that they are even making it, resulting in disaster.

For more info about the construction safety training that Construction Safety Experts offer, check out our list of safety training and risk management services.


It is impossible to encompass every important safety consideration in a short space, so suffice it to say that proper education for all workers is the most effective precaution possible.

Let Construction Safety Experts help ensure that your workers receive the proper training, contact us today or call (866) 463-0669.

Common Safety Mistakes Made on Construction Sites

Construction industry professionals are well aware of the occupational hazards involved with their line of work; they are hard to ignore when nearly 1,000 workers died on the job in 2017.

Despite the inherent risks, construction pros can avoid almost all injuries and fatalities by staying current with safety standards, procedures and practices on site. Being aware of the most common mistakes made on construction sites is another way mistakes can be avoided. In this article we are going to touch on these mistakes to help make you better aware of the potential risks around you.

Scaffolding Mistakes

There are plenty of ways scaffolding can be erected and maintained improperly. Everything from constructing a scaffold on an unstable surface to failing to repair damaged scaffolding accessories immediately can contribute to a system’s failure.

Without these common mistakes in play, around 4,500 injuries plus 50 deaths could be avoided in the construction industry each year.

Having a qualified point person on site can help ensure that the proper system and accessories are used on an appropriate surface in the first place, and that no safety hazards arise before or during dismantling.

Fall Protection

It’s no secret that falls are the most pervasive threat to construction industry workers. Failure to use guardrails, restraint systems and other precautionary measures greatly increase the likelihood of injury or death from a fall.

These protection systems may feel cumbersome to workers who are confident on sites, but the alternative is much worse. A proper education on which fall protection system is appropriate for a given site is critical.

Head Protection

Construction sites pose multiple threats to the head of a worker: falling items, collisions with stationary objects and even contact with electrical components are all major common hazards.

These hazards are the easiest to avoid: workers must simply wear a hard hat in any areas of the site posing a risk.

Trench Collapses

Especially for those who have had a long career in the industry, it’s easy to get complacent about following safety specifications to the letter, but it can save dozens of lives each year to prevent trench collapses.

Workers should always be aware of the appropriate slope for the depth of a trench and also use shoring and shielding to protect against collapses. A safe point of entry and exit is also an important consideration.

Hazard Communication

It is absolutely vital to communicate any potential hazards on site – recognizing these hazards sets a motion of practices in place. Chemicals is one of the leading hazards in construction- they have the potential to cause burns, fires and even explosions. And what is more important than recognizing these hazards on site, is communicating that they are present.

It is crucial to keep a Material Safety Data Sheet on each chemical in a work site and also to ensure all workers have received proper training in handling them.

Prevent Common Construction Site Mistakes

No one wants to put themselves in danger, but whether out of forgetfulness or a simple lack of knowledge, thousands of construction industry professionals do just that each year. To ensure proper safety education, reach out to us or call (866) 463-0669.

5 Heavy Equipment Operator Training Terms You Should Know

Heavy equipment operator training is a must for any workplace that uses heavy equipment. Offering training on the right topics and at the right levels is crucial to making sure your employees are equipped to do their jobs safely. Unfortunately, there is some jargon used when describing heavy equipment training that might make it difficult for you to determine which type of training is right for you or your workers. Read on to learn about five terms you may encounter when researching this type of training.

5 Heavy Equipment Operator Training Terms You Should Know

  • Heavy Equipment: Heavy equipment is a broad term for many different types of machines that are used in construction, mining, and industrial workplaces. Therefore, heavy equipment training involves training in safely operating cranes, drills, pumps, compressors, bulldozers, front end loaders, backhoes, graders, and other large and potentially dangerous pieces of equipment.
  • Heavy Equipment Operator: A heavy equipment operator is an employee who operates heavy equipment. This employee must have the training and certification necessary to operate such machinery safely. Heavy equipment operator training provides the skills your heavy equipment operators need to ensure your workplace is safe and productive.
  • OSHA 10 and OSHA 30: Construction Safety Experts offers an OSHA training course that covers a variety of workplace safety topics, including training in heavy equipment operation. OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 are a part of this program. These two seminars are designed to provide an overview of the topics most important to workplace safety. OSHA 10 is a ten hour seminar most appropriate for entry level employees, while OSHA 30 is a more in-depth program that gives managers and supervisors a deeper understanding of safety topics.
  • MSHA Training: Heavy equipment operators working in mining environments require special training to fully understand the intricacies of safe operation in their workplace. MSHA training ensures that heavy equipment operators in mining environments meet the educational requirements set out by the United State’s Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. This training covers part 46 & 48 of MSHA’s requirements for surface training, as well as hazard awareness training, new miner training, annual refresher training, and more.
  • AISC Certification: AISC Certification is a program run by the American Institute of Steel Construction. Businesses who are AISC certified have passed a rigorous initial evaluation that proved their steel fabrication and erection process meets the AISC’s standards. Well-trained heavy equipment operators are an important part of meeting these standards.

 

Great heavy equipment operator training is vital to creating a great workplace. By being familiar with the training resources available to you and your workforce, you can ensure your site or workspace is safe for everyone involved.

 

OSHA Training Seminars–Learning The Basics

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration provides a number of training resources appropriate for varying worker levels. OSHA safety training is a valuable resource if your goal is a safer workplace. Read on for an overview of how these seminars work and how they can benefit you and your workers.

What is OSHA Safety Training?

OSHA safety training is a government outreach program designed to provide workers and supervisors with the basic information they need to operate safely in their work environment. The training courses for employees are referred to as OSHA 10 because they take ten hours to complete. Training for managers is more in-depth and takes 30 hours to complete, so those courses are referred to as OSHA 30.

Targeted Industrial Groups

OSHA safety training courses are broken down into four targeted groups. This allows instructors to focus in on safety factors most relevant to specific work environments. The four industrial groups available are:

  • Construction
  • General Industry
  • Maritime
  • Disaster Site

There is overlap among the topics covered in these four training classes, so everyone coming out of this training receives a complete overview of how to identify, avoid, and prevent safety violations in their workplace. However, by attending a training seminar specifically designed for their industry, students become better aware of the issues they are most likely to face in their daily environment.

Choosing the Right Training Seminar

Finding the right seminar for you or your employees depends on the student’s industry and level of responsibility. Knowing which industry to you’re a part of is simple, but knowing whether the 10 or 30 hour course is most appropriate is a little less clear. Generally speaking, the 10 hour seminar is most appropriate for entry level workers who may not have received in-depth safety training before. The 30 level course adds more depth and variety to the topics covered in OSHA 10, as well as focuses more closely on procedures relevant to each industry. This depth makes OSHA 30 ideal for supervisors or others who bear responsibility for workplace safety.

Are OSHA Training Seminars Mandatory?

OSHA training seminars are not federally mandated. However, some states, employers, and unions require this type of training. Research the laws for your jurisdiction to determine if this type of training is mandatory for you.

Whether or not OSHA training is mandatory, it is a reliable way to ensure your employees and supervisors have the knowledge they need to ensure a safe work environment. The information provided helps to reduce accidents and improve productivity, creating a safer workplace for everyone involved.

How Safety Consulting Firms Can Ensure A Safe Workplace

You know that a safe workplace is a productive and successful workplace. In most cases, creating a culture of safety and implementing the standards and practices to ensure a secure work environment isn’t something you can do on your own. Safety consulting firms take that burden off your shoulders, ensuring your workplace is safe so you can focus on other areas.

How Safety Consulting Companies Can Ensure a Safe Workplace

1. Safety Consulting Firms Don’t Have Ulterior Motives: When you hire a professional consultant from an outside safety consulting firm, you’re hiring someone who won’t be bogged down by your past safety record or influenced by your company’s internal affairs. An outside consultant won’t be motivated to make your company look good: instead, they’ll only be interested in making your workplace safe.

2. Safety Consulting Firms Bring Fresh Eyes to Your Workplace: Working in the same space day after day makes it easy to fail to see potential problems. To a professional from a safety consulting firm, however, small safety issues stick out. Having fresh eyes and ears in your workspace eliminates all of those little issues that even in-house safety managers can accidentally overlook. When those fresh eyes and ears belong to someone experienced in workplace health and safety, a comprehensive and effective plan to address these issues will soon follow.

3. Safety Consulting Firms Provide Specialized Knowledge: Are you or your in-house safety manager up to date with the current industry safety regulations in your field? Do you take time off to attend seminars and stay informed about the most recent research? A professional safety consultant does. Working with a safety consulting company makes sure you’re taking advantage of the most up to date information available.

4. Safety Consulting Firms Improve Employee Morale: Hiring a safety consultant sends your employees a strong message: you care about their wellbeing. Employees who feel that management is committed to keeping them safe are less likely to cut corners that can cause accidents. A professional safety consultant provides training and education that will benefit your employees both in and potentially outside the workplace, improving morale and loyalty, increasing safety, and reducing accidents that can interfere with productivity.

Safety Consulting Firms Help Create a Safe Workplace

Hiring an outside safety consulting firm can help ensure that your workplace is safe. At Safety Xperts, your workplace’s safety is our number one concern. Get in contact with us to learn more about how we can help you build an environment that is focused on safety.

5 Key Benefits of On Site Safety Managers

When putting a team together to complete a task, hiring on site safety managers might not be first on your mind. However, having someone in this role provides several key benefits. Project safety managers offer significant advantages – here are five of the most prominent:

5 Key Benefits of On Site Safety Managers

When you hire an on site safety manager…

1. You’ll Have a Person on Staff Specifically Qualified for Safety Work: Without a specialized safety manager, tasks like handling safety claims and educating on standards and laws are only completed when absolutely necessary, and by employees who likely aren’t completely qualified for the work. Hiring an on site safety manager ensures you have someone on your team who is educated on the most efficient and effective methods to improve safety in the workplace, which greatly increases your ability to meet your safety goals.

2. You’ll Have a Unique Perspective on Your Team: Safety managers don’t think like construction people, or estimating people, or project management people. Instead of focusing on client satisfaction or costs, on site safety managers focus on safety above all else. This focus provides a unique perspective that can lead to real change in your workplace, a huge benefit when safety is something you’re concerned about.

3. You’ll Have a Qualified Resource for Continual Training: Creating a safety culture in a workplace requires ongoing training for all levels of employees. Having a safety manager on staff gives you a designated, qualified individual to provide this training. Because your safety manager will be up to date on the newest laws and standards, you’ll know that everyone from front line workers up will be receiving accurate and usable information, leading to a safer environment and fewer incidents.

4. You’ll Have Cost Savings in a Variety of Areas: Investing in an on site safety manager may cost you more up front, but this investment will save you money in a variety of ways. Safety training reduces fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. This will in turn lower your workers’ compensation costs and medical expenses. You’ll avoid OSHA penalties, have lower training costs, and have to pay for fewer accident investigations.

5. You’ll Have Up to Date Knowledge of Standards and Laws: Running afoul of safety standards and laws can be costly, both financially and in your employees’ health. Having a qualified project safety manager on staff gives you a resource that is up to date on the latest changes to workplace safety regulations, keeping you and your employees protected.

The benefits to on site safety managers are numerous, making them a worthy addition to most project teams.

 

5 Benefits of On-Site Safety Training

There is a lot to be learned from live safety training from construction experts who have the the expertise needed by your workers and the equipment they use. Sitting down to look at a video before tackling a job lacks all of the customization that impact safety and productivity. On-site safety training goes beyond the basics to provide the hands-on preparation that allows employees to find the best solution to any obstacle along the way.

Live Training Will Expand Workers’ Horizons

On-site safety managers with the expertise to use the equipment that is specific to the job can demonstrate the proper use for better understanding. The opportunity will also give all workers the advantage of hearing other workers’ questions and become aware of potential problems and the appropriate solutions before they become an issue for them. The top 5 benefits of having safety managers on-site are:

  1. Maintaining Awareness of Modern Equipment and Procedures – New equipment, procedures and standards are frequently being introduced. Safety managers with the most current information can provide information to workers that is relevant to the project.
  2. Opportunity for Hands-On Learning – Auditory learners get more from a verbal demonstration while others are hands-on learning. The expert safety managers can address individual questions and explain things in a way that makes it easy for them to understand.
  3. Unified Focus – Problems with getting a training video online, interruptions from other people, and other distractions are virtually eliminated so workers get more from the training time.
  4. Project-Specific Training – On-site training will address the specific situations of a project that are important to safety.
  5. Better ROI – Live training has repeatedly proven to get better results, increase productivity, and give companies a better return on their investment.

Onsite Safety Professionals for Your Specific Project

Construction Safety Experts works to match their safety managers with your company and your project to get the best results. The right safety personnel will improve the progression of your project while keeping your workers safe.