No matter how low or high you are off the ground, a tumble from a ladder can have serious consequences.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) reports that more than 500,000 people in the United States are treated for ladder injuries every year. What’s more, about 300 fatalities occur each year from ladder-related injuries. Ladder safety is something that should be taken seriously.
OSHA Standard 1910.23(b)(9) states that the employer must ensure that ladders are inspected before initial use each work shift, and more frequently as necessary, to identify any visible defects that could cause employee injury. Not to be taken for granted, if ladders are used regularly by employees, it’s a good idea to include ladder safety in daily safety meetings. And even if your workers only use them occasionally, then at least an annual safety meeting on ladder safety is a must.
True or False: An employer is not required to have a training program for each employee using ladders?
FALSE – Per OSHA 1926.1060(a), the employer shall provide a training program for each employee using ladders and stairways, as necessary. The program shall enable each employee to recognize hazards related to ladders and stairways, and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed to minimize these hazards.
Ladder safety training is often overlooked. Why? It’s simple. Anyone can climb a ladder. Right? Remember when you climb a ladder you are placing yourself at height. Height is a hazard and a hazard should be controlled or eliminated.
OSHA Standard 1910.23(b)(9)
American Ladder Institute
National Ladder Safety Month
Ladders: From Research to Smart, Safe Practices
This Safety Flash was contributed by Kevin Muldoon, Project Manager at Mazzella/FHS Engineered Lifelines & Fall Protection, in cooperation with SEAA’s Safety Committee. It is designed to keep members informed about ongoing safety issues and to provide suggestions for reducing risk. Best practices are gathered from a variety of sources. They may be more or less stringent than individual corporate policies and are not intended to be an official recommendation from SEAA. Always get approval and direction from your company officers on any new practice or procedure as these best practices may not work for all situations.
Everyone benefits when a worker avoids injury. Submit your ideas for Safety Flash
SEAA’s Safety & Education Committee is looking for jobsites to film Craft Training videos. The project is part of an initiative to build an archive of videos that can be used by SEAA members to complement existing in-house training and that will coordinate with the SEAA/NCCER curriculum.
Among the topics we are looking to shoot are bar joist/girder projects, welding, deck installation, and multiple lift rigging.
Participants must be willing to have videos and pictures taken on active job sites. Other requirements include:
Companies will receive exposure for volunteering, and are encouraged to prominently display their company logo on all equipment and PPE worn by workers in the videos. For more information, contact Bryan McClure.
Video topics include:
SEAA has opened the submission forms for 2022 Project of the Year, Safety Excellence, and Craft Training Excellence awards. Industry-wide publicity and peer recognition are just two of the benefits of participation.
The Project of the Year Award is for SEAA members that topped out a steel erection project in 2020 or 2021. Applications can be submitted using a simple online form and supporting documents. New for next year is a category for Miscellaneous Metals, which expands recognition for projects that fall outside structural steel construction. There is no cost for SEAA members to submit an application. Application deadline is January 28, 2022.
Winners are recognized during Awards Ceremony at the SEAA National Convention & Trade Show. Your team is invited to make a presentation about the project and to join a panel discussion with other convention attendees. The winner in each category will be featured in an in-depth profile article in The SEAA Connector® magazine, the official publication of SEAA.
The Safety Excellence Award acknowledges SEAA members who go above and
beyond in the effort to provide ironworkers a safe place to work, while the Craft Training
Recognition Award is for companies that are playing a critical role in the development of skilled
ironworkers. Winners are selected in blind presentation by SEAA’s Safety & Education Committee. Application deadline for both Safety and Craft Training Excellence Awards is March 1, 2022.
Beginning in 2022, three $1500 Craft Training Grants will be awarded—one to each World Class winner of SEAA’s Craft Training Excellence awards program. World Class winners will be featured in a profile article in The SEAA Connector magazine.
SEAA is shining the spotlight on one of our platinum-level sponsors of our 48th Annual Convention & Trade Show.
Shelby Erectors, a Florida-based bridge and rebar contractor and SEAA member, is proud to promote their certified apprenticeship program. A 2-year, “earn as you learn” program, taught by instructors’ with over 30 years of experience in Ironwork. Only 4000 PAID hours stand between you and an NCCER Reinforcing Ironworker certification that can be used anywhere across the nation! What are you waiting for?! Inquire at ShelbyErectors.com now!
Have you heard of the show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe? Check out this behind the scenes look at their episode with Shelby Erectors set to air in October!
September 2, 2021 (Winston-Salem, N.C.) The Steel Erectors Association of America announces that Erection & Welding Contractors (EWC), Berlin, Conn., will receive the 2021 SEAA Craft Training Grant.
The grant is for member companies who are newly implementing SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Training and Assessment programs. It covers initial setup, training for administrators, instructors, and coordinators, and custom training materials for Ironworker Levels 1-3, or similar curriculum. EWC joined SEAA’s nationwide network of more than 30 training units in the fall of 2020.
“Erection & Welding Contractors stood out because of their commitment to the recruitment and education of ironworkers,” said Bryan McClure, Chairman of SEAA’s Safety & Education committee. EWC is an AISC certified structural steel fabricator and erector, as well as a Minority Business Enterprise certified in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
“Our goal is to educate and nurture each apprentice into an ironworker who employs best practices in our industry,” said David Desell, of Erection Welding Contractors.
Participation in the SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Craft Training Program gives SEAA members access to dozens of training materials, including ironworker, crane operator, rigger, and signalperson, and management level curriculum. To learn more, visit seaa.net/craft-training.
Craft Training Excellence Grants
Beginning in 2022, three $1500 Craft Training Grants will be awarded—one to each World Class winner of SEAA’s Craft Training Excellence awards program. Winners are selected for their training accomplishments in the previous year in three categories based on number of ironworkers employed. Winners are selected in blind presentation by SEAA’s Safety & Education Committee. Submissions are due March 1, 2022. Applications can be submitted online at SEAA.net/awards.
About Steel Erectors Association of America
Founded in 1972, SEAA is the only national trade association representing the interests of steel erectors, fabricators, contractors, and related service providers. The association promotes safety, education and training programs for steel erector trades, including its Ironworker Craft Training curriculum. The association works in partnership with other steel construction, design, and steel product organizations to protect the interests of those who construct steel structures. Learn more at www.seaa.net.
The Product & Services Showcase is a digital supplement to Connector magazine. Each Showcase is related to content found in the most recent issue. Subscribe to the digital issue of Connector to view the Products & Services that are featured. To advertise your Products or Services, contact ConnectorSales@SEAA.net.
Millions of U.S. construction workers are exposed to extreme heat in their workplace, especially when working outdoors. Of those millions, thousands of workers get sick from heat exposure each year, and some cases are fatal. The General Duty Clause (Section 5[a] of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970), requires employers to provide a place of employment that is “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”
Heat-related illness can take on five forms.
1) Heat rash is caused by clogged skin pores that hold in sweat. This prevents the body from cooling down and causing skin rash.
2) Next are heat cramps, which are painful muscle spasms caused by dehydration.
3) The third form is heat syncope, a condition causing an employee to become light-headed and sometimes faint. It is caused by dehydration resulting in decreased blood flow to the brain.
4) Even more severe is heat exhaustion, which sets in when the body loses too much water creating an electrolyte imbalance. Signs include weakness, dizziness, nausea, headache, heavy sweating, and clammy skin.
5) Finally, heatstroke is an extremely serious condition and can lead to brain damage or even death if not treated promptly and properly. Signs of a heatstroke include a rapid pulse, hot, dry skin, mental confusion, and temporary vision/hearing impairments.
The first line of defense in all forms of heat related illness is to immediately get the employee out of the heat so they can cool down and hydrate. All employees should learn how to recognize a victim of heat-related illness. Evaluate the symptoms, then follow the recommended first aid actions.
Hazardous heat exposure can be prevented by employers. Supervisors should watch for warning signs of heat-related illness in their crews and should never push employees beyond their limits. Many companies offer first aid training to educate, prevent, and treat heat-related illnesses. Some preventative strategies include establishing a shaded break area, providing ice, water/sports drinks, and issuing protective clothing/cooling towels. Companies can also limit employee heat exposure through well planned work and rest schedules. Although most healthy employees will be able to acclimate to heat over a period of time, some staff may be heat intolerant.
Employees can take their own preventative measures to combat heat. Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day and staying away from alcohol and caffeine is essential. Remember to eat lighter meals while working because the more calories you consume, the more body heat you produce. Wear protective lightweight clothing and use sunblock on exposed skin. Employees should know their limits and notify a supervisor immediately if having heat illness symptoms. Occupations requiring heat exposure do not have to be dangerous. If everyone works together to take preemptive measures and watch for warning signs, heat-related illnesses can be prevented.
Nation Safety Council, 2016, Heat-related Illness
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Heat
American Red Cross Heat Wave Safety