The Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration (MIOSHA) has released its new five-year strategic plan. To no one’s surprise, making construction (including residential construction) safer is at the top of its list. Their plan calls for decreasing fatalities in the construction industry by 2% a year by focusing on the four leading causes of fatalities:
It also calls for reducing injuries and illnesses in the construction industry by 1% a year over the five years.
MIOSHA has also provided the Home Builders Association of Michigan with the five most frequent serious violations they find during residential inspections. With a tip of the hat to David Letterman:
Number Five: No eye protection while cutting/grinding/drilling/sanding.
Eye protection is required where a hazard or risk of injury exists from flying objects or particles, harmful contacts, exposures such as glare, liquids, injurious radiation, electrical flash, or a combination of these hazards. Employers must require their employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when the rules call for it or you’re the one who will face fines and other penalties.
Number Four: Portable ladders not extended 3 feet above the landing area.
When portable ladders are used for access to an upper landing surface, the ladder side rails have to extend not less than 3 feet above the upper landing surface the ladder is being used to access. If the ladder is too short to extend the required 3 feet then it has to be secured at its top to rigid support that will not deflect. And a grasping device, such as a grabrail, shall be provided to assist employees in mounting and dismounting the ladder.
Number Three: No eye protection while using pneumatic nail guns.Not only do you have to provide (and your employees have to wear) eye protection when they’re using a portable powered stapler or nailer, any employees within the striking distance of its fastener have to wear eye protection too. Remember your employees must wear PPE when the rules call for it or you will be fined and subject to other penalties.
Number Two: No hard hats.
If your employees are working in an area where a hazard or risk of injury exists from falling or flying objects or particles or from other harmful contacts or exposures you must provide them with a hard hat and make sure they wear it. Again, if your employee isn’t wearing a hard hat when it is required, you will be the one with a headache.
And finally, Number One: No fall protection at six feet or higher.
We’ve been talking about these fall protection regulations since April of 2011. Half of the residential construction fatalities in the last two years have been fall-related. As an industry, we, and as an employer, you, have to do everything possible to make the work site safe.
Much of the information on fall protection you need, including training, is available from MIOSHA at no cost. This training will also count toward your continuing competency requirements for license renewal.
For compliance assistance, contact the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division at (517) 322-1809 or go to www.michigan.gov/cet
For MIOSHA seminars and other training opportunities, visit www.michigan.gov/mioshatraining
Additional resources are also available on the MIOSHA website at www.michigan.gov/miosha in the MIOSHA Initiatives section, under Residential Construction Initiative.
For information on Fall Protection, please contact the Construction Safety and Health Division at (517) 322-1856, or visit the website at www.michigan.gov/mioshastandards