Every industry is influenced in immeasurable ways by the creative thinkers and inventors who change the way work gets done. For contractors involved in steel decking, that person was Harry Haytayan, Sr. (July 19, 1929—May 13, 2021), a Professional Engineer and founder of Pneutek, Inc. The pneumatic fastening tools and methods Haytayan invented have helped make mechanical fastenings for attaching steel deck the leading process in the industry.
By Bryan McClure
We currently live in a world with ever-changing challenges as it relates to fall protection. It used to be as simple as telling workers to “stay tied off 100% of the time.” Or “make sure your anchor point can support your pickup truck (5000 lbs.)!” At the time, it was a victory just to get workers to tie off. But since the early 1990s, there have been great strides in fall protection planning, training and
Product innovation has also helped to protect ironworkers from falls in ways we never expected 25
years ago. These innovations have led to a multitude of different products and manufacturers, all with different acceptable uses and component compatibilities. As a result, equipment is often used
incorrectly or in the wrong situations. These are three of the most common mistakes I frequently see on steel erection sites.
SEAA supports the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. The week-long focus on fall prevention will be held May 3-7, 2021.
Erectors are encouraged to plan events at their job sites. In April, SEAA will distribute to members tips for holding an effective safety stand down and recommendations on topics relevant to fall prevention in steel erection. Members will have the option to order banners and hard stickers to utilize during their events. In addition, SEAA member Trivent Safety Consulting will offer members a free virtual Ironworkers Fall Protection Awareness class on May 5, 2021 at 11 AM MST taught by Scott Seppers. The one hour class will focus on Overview of OSHA’s Fall Protection Standards for Ironworkers- Subpart R & Subpart M; SRl’s- Overhead vs. Leading/Sharp Edge; and Fall Arrest Component Compatibility.
“We suggest choosing a topic that employees will relate to, either something that is specific to your job site or workforce or that comes from past incidents or near misses,” suggests Glen Pisani of MAS Building & Bridge in Massachusetts and a SEAA board member.
“The tips and banner packages are designed to make this easy for erectors of all sizes,” said Pisani. SEAA members can post their event photos on social media using hashtags #standdown4safety and #seaa.
Members can order their SEAA Stands with Ironworkers banner and hard hat stickers at www.seaa.net/standdown.html. “The materials aren’t dated, so they can be used again and again for future Fall Prevention Stand Down meetings,” said Pisani. Deadline to place an order is April 19.
The second round of the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans opened on January 11, 2021. The U.S. Small Business Administrations (SBA) and the U.S. Department of Treasury released the final guidance for first time applications, and stronger stipulations for second time borrowers.
Forgivable PPP loans require that 60 percent of the loan pay employees & wages and 40 percent is used for rent, utilities, mortgage interest payments and other expenses.
First time applicants can apply for loan coverage for any length between 8 and 24 weeks. Among the other business-related expenses that can be covered by the loan are supplier costs and property damage.
Second time borrowers must have fewer than 300 employers, and must prove that they suffered at least a 25 percent drop in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
Reduce Spread of Coronavirus in Construction with While the world continues to wait for a vaccine for COVID-19, employers will need to remain up to date and vigilant on safety protocols on the jobsite, especially as we head into the winter months.
A study, published on October 29, 2020, by the University of Texas at Austin, found a connection
between construction sites that did not have COVID-19 restrictions in place, and higher hospitalization rates in surrounding areas. The study, based on residents in the Austin-Round Rock metro area, discovered that the risk of coronavirus hospitalization in the construction industry is five times more than other occupations. However, on construction sites where safety measures were in place, including equipment cleaning, protective equipment and limits on worker capacity, transmission risk was decreased by 50%.
As of October 30, 2020, OSHA has cited 144 establishments, with penalties totaling over $2 million
dollars. While the majority of violations are in healthcare and food processing, the construction industry can use this information to better understand what the most frequent citations are.
It is recommended by the CDC and OSHA that employers create a plan to protect employees to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on construction job sites. CPWR has created an Exposure Control Planning Tool that can help employers develop a written plan to help protect employees, keep job sites open, and help prevent delays.
NCCER’s new Find a Center training map lets craft trainees and entry-level workers search over 3,300 locations open to the public. Users can filter by location and specific crafts, such as welding, pipefitting or carpentry, to find training in their area.
For experienced craft professionals looking to take a journey-level assessment, the Find a Center
assessment map provides testing facilities by location or company name. NCCER’s complete series of journey-level written assessments evaluate the knowledge of an individual in a specific craft area and provide a prescription for upgrade training when needed. Check out the map and view a directory of accredited organizations.
Fifth Annual Industry Forum on Personnel Qualifications Rescheduled- OSHA Director Ketcham to Keynote at Virtual Event
Fairfax, VA, September 1, 2020 – The Fifth Annual Industry Forum on Personnel Qualifications has been rescheduled for Thursday, October 29, 2020 as a virtual event, the NCCCO Foundation has announced. As previously reported, Scott Ketcham, Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, will once again provide the keynote address and participate in a Q&A session that will conclude the conference.
The Forum will build on the success of previous events and focus on the latest developments in regulations and best industry practices as they pertain to the qualifications of personnel working in, with, and around cranes and other types of lifting equipment. “In light of the imminent publication of OSHA’s Compliance Directive, we anticipate the session on the Foundation’s newly-published Most Similar Certifications Directory to be highly popular,” said NCCCO Foundation CEO, Graham Brent.
Other sessions will focus on who’s responsible for what on jobsites, why certification is so important for riggers, signalpersons, lift directors and others even when it may not be required, what’s “bubbling under” with new B30 standards, and what new certification programs are being developed.
The last Forum was held in Crosby, Texas in October 2019 and attracted a record attendance of more than 100 industry representatives from all facets of the lifting industry. A survey of attendees’ experience was highly positive. “Response to the last Forum was exceptional,” said Brent, “with fully 94% of delegates rating the event as meeting or exceeding their expectations.”
“It’s not every day that you get access to those, like OSHA Director Ketcham, who are on the front lines of regulatory issues,” said Brent, “which is why the question-and-answer panel discussion proved so popular last time and while we will be reprising it again this time around.”
“We pack a lot into a four-hour window. With a dozen or so separate presentations, we ensure there’s always something for everyone,” he added.
There is no charge to attend the Forum, but registration is required here.
The NCCCO Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to the promotion of construction industry safety through three major pathways: education, research and workforce development. By facilitating access to training and certification by youth, veterans and underserved communities through scholarships and grants, the Foundation seeks to ensure a safe and skilled workforce now and for the future.
2020 National Safety Stand-Down September 14-18
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction
employees, accounting for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
Addressing falls in construction is the reason why each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) holds a National Safety Stand-Down to prevent Falls in the Construction industry. OSHA encourages employers to take a break to focus on safety concerns surrounding falls from elevation. Stand-down events provide employers and workers the opportunity to talk about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety and health programs, goals, and expectations.
Last year, thousands of worksites participated in the campaign and the Stand-Down event reached over a million workers. OSHA invites employers to dedicate themselves yet again to the safety of their most valuable resource: their workers.
OSHA’s Stand-Down webpage offers information on conducting a successful event, and educational resources. Employers are encouraged to provide feedback after their events, and to obtain a personalized certificate of participation.
The National Safety Stand-Down is a joint effort between OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.
To learn how you can participate in the Stand-Down, visit www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown.