Monthly Archives: April 2021

What is Lean Construction? Principles and Benefits

preparing for lean constructionThe principle behind lean construction is quite simple – the goal is to minimize waste of resources and money while maximizing the value for the client and maintaining industry compliance. While this may make perfect sense in theory, it can be rather difficult to enact in the real world with new approaches than what has been the traditional method.

What is Lean Construction?

While it may be easy to recognize the benefits of lean construction, it isn’t always easy to understand the concept. It’s not uncommon for companies to ask themselves “What is lean construction for them?”

The focus is on reducing waste in resources, time, and other aspects of a project without taking away from the value for the customer. For example, a company may need to find unique ways to maximize the productivity of the workers while being more efficient in getting tasks done. Even the materials used may be more innovative and improve efficiency.

Benefits of Lean Construction

To understand the answer to “what is lean construction?” you can look at the benefits. When implemented successfully, lean construction will result in a business practice that is sustainable with employees being better able to solve problems. The amount of waste is decreased, which results in reduced loss. This method can also improve the ability to innovate and adapt to challenges. Employee morale is also improved in a company that achieves success and has found a better way to accomplish goals.

Lean Construction Principles

 Once you have defined “what is lean construction?” the next step is to define those principles. Four basic components make up this concept, starting with planning. You must identify areas in the company where processes may be improved. The next step is to enact changes to make those improvements.

After implementing strategies for improvement, you should take the time to study the impact and make adjustments as needed. While these are the four basic steps, they are cyclical in nature, meaning they are done over and over. At the same time, you must identify client values to ensure you are providing what matters most to them while eliminating waste from your processes. As you streamline workflow, you will naturally see the results of lean construction.

Identifying waste is one of the most important principles in lean construction. Several types of waste exist, which can be reduced and possibly eliminated.

Time waste – caused by overproduction, poor scheduling, or waste of production

Production waste – tasks are done in excess or completed ahead of schedule

Defects – tasks aren’t completed correctly or errors in workmanship occur

Talent waste – a worker’s skills are underutilized

Inventory waste – too much inventory is maintained, which is not used up in a timely manner

Process waste – unnecessary steps are included in the project, which don’t add value

As you work to find areas where you can improve, consider how you can utilize workers in the best way and maintain OSHA compliance to reduce penalties and risk of injury. CertifyMeOnline.net provides a streamlined process for training and certifying employees on aerial and scissor lifts for improved safety. Instead of spending extra time organizing training, the workers can get it done online. Contact us today to find out more about our courses.

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Top Aerial Lift Safety Violations and How to Avoid Them

Does your business have what it takes to protect your aerial lift operators against on-the-job dangers? If not, you could face OSHA aerial lift safety violations.

Your business has aerial lift operators on staff — and you need to protect them. To do so, you must comply with OSHA aerial lift safety standards.

OSHA has safety standards for businesses that employ aerial lift operators. Compliance with OSHA standards is paramount. If you ignore these standards, you put your aerial lift operators and your business in danger.

With a clear understanding of OSHA standards, you provide your aerial lift operators with a safe, productive work environment. Plus, you can protect your operators against aerial lift accidents and avoid OSHA aerial lift safety violations.

What Are OSHA Aerial Lift Safety Violations?

OSHA enforces workplace safety across the United States. As part of its efforts, OSHA conducts periodic worksite inspections to identify any hazards. Or, an employee workplace safety complaint can trigger an OSHA worksite inspection.

For businesses that employ aerial lift operators, you are responsible for learning and complying with OSHA safety violations. You must also educate your operators about aerial lift safety and the different types of OSHA violations.

Types of Aerial Lift Safety Violations

If OSHA identifies a worksite safety issue, it will issue a violation. Types of OSHA violations include:

1. Willful

A willful violation is considered the most serious OSHA violation category. Businesses can receive willful violations if they ignore workers’ health and safety. For example, businesses that do not provide its aerial lift operators with sufficient guardrail systems or safety net systems can be subject to willful violations. OSHA can fine businesses up to 136,532 per willful violation.

2. Serious

OSHA can issue a serious violation to a business that is aware or should be aware of a situation that puts workers in danger but does not remedy it. Examples of serious violations include failure to teach aerial lift operators about fall hazards or provide adequate fall protection. In these instances, OSHA can fine businesses up to $13,653 for each serious violation.

3. Repeated

If OSHA cites a business for a violation but later finds the company does not correct the issue or a similar problem arises, it can issue a repeated violation. The maximum penalty of a repeated OSHA violation is $136,532.

4. Other-Than-Serious

Businesses can be subject to other-than-serious violations if OSHA determines an issue would not usually result in death or serious injury but still affects job safety or employee health. For instance, OSHA may issue an other-than-serious violation to a business that fails to provide copies of safety regulations or post required documentation in work areas. An other-than-serious OSHA violation can result in a fine up to $13,653. 

Now that you know about the different types of OSHA safety violations, let’s examine some of the top aerial lift safety violations.

What Are the Top Aerial Lift Safety Violations?

The top OSHA aerial lift safety violations include:

1. Fall Protection

OSHA requires fall protection for aerial lift operators — without exception. Business must provide a body belt and lanyard to operators that must be used as soon as they enter a lift. Meanwhile, operators must keep an eye out for potholes, curbs, and other worksite hazards that can cause a lift to tip over and lead to falls.

2. Scaffolding

Aerial lifts are considered scaffolding. To guard against scaffolding accidents and violations, businesses must provide their aerial lift operators with harnesses, cable and rope grabs, and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). For aerial lift operators, they must verify the load limits of scaffolding materials and avoid exceeding these limits. They must also receive training to ensure they quickly identify scaffolding dangers at worksites.

3. Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)

Aerial lift operators must follow LOTO procedures to ensure that equipment is properly shut down and taken out of service. They must understand how to properly park and store a lift and deactivate any electrical components. If a lift is defective, an operator must notify their supervisor, who can document the problem and take the machine until it is repaired. Businesses must verify their aerial lift operators comply with LOTO procedures, too. They must keep their LOTO procedures up to date in accordance with OSHA requirements and provide aerial lift safety training to ensure their operators understand these procedures.

4. Powered Industrial Trucks

Forklifts, pallet jacks, and other powered industrial trucks can be dangerous, and aerial lift operators and their employers must plan accordingly. Operators must maintain full control of a powered industrial truck, operate the vehicle at a safe speed, and follow other safety measures. Businesses must educate operators about powered industrial truck safety requirements. Furthermore, businesses should only let workers who have received proper training use powered industrial trucks at their worksites.   

5. Machine Guarding

Machine guards protect aerial lift operators against accidents caused by moving parts. Guards must be securely attached to a lift and prevent any part of an operator’s body or clothing from making contact with the machine. They should never interfere with an operator’s ability to safely use a lift. Guards should prevent foreign objects from entering a lift and potentially creating new hazards as well.

How to Avoid OSHA Aerial Lift Safety Violations

There are many things you can do to avoid OSHA aerial lift safety violations, such as:

-Conduct ongoing worksite hazard assessments. Watch for worksite hazards and address them before they can get out of hand.

 

-Develop and execute a written safety compliance plan. Make a plan to comply with OSHA aerial lift safety requirements, review your plan regularly, and keep it up to date.

-Teach aerial lift operators about workplace dangers. Provide aerial lift safety training that allows workers to become OSHA-certified aerial lift operators; this training teaches workers about OSHA requirements for aerial lift operators.  

Remember, your business is responsible for protecting its aerial lift operators against on-the-job dangers. With a proactive approach to OSHA compliance, you can guard against aerial lift accidents that can lead to death or injury. The result: your aerial lift operators can remain safe and productive, and your business can avoid OSHA violations.  

What Are the Top Wearables in Construction?

 

safety wearablesWearable technology in construction is quickly becoming a must-have. Let’s look at this technology and how it can help improve construction workplace safety.

What Are Wearables in Construction?

Wearables in construction refer to devices that construction workers can wear to improve on-the-job safety. They are user-friendly and won’t hamper a worker’s ability to complete day-to-day tasks.

Construction safety wearables are evolving, and demand for them is expected to increase in the years to come. Research indicates that 6% of contractors wore wearables in 2018. And, this figure is expected to rise to 23% in 2021.

As interest in wearable technology in construction, employers must keep pace. If you learn about the top construction wearables available, you can provide your workers with the technologies they need to remain safe, productive, and efficient.

5 Wearables in Construction You Need to Know About

Here are five construction safety wearables that can help your business reduce the risk of workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

1. Smart Watch

Smart watches can be used to track health and activity data. These watches can help construction workers check their vital signs while they work. Some smart watches can detect abnormal heart rhythms or other serious health problems as well.

In addition, smart watches can be used to detect construction worker falls. They also enable construction employees to communicate with one another hands-free.

2. Smart Boots

Smart boots take personal protective equipment (PPE) to the next level. Like smart watches, smart boots can detect falls. Smart boots may use GPS technology that allow a construction manager to pinpoint a worker’s location, too.

3. Smart Helmet

A smart helmet includes sensors that can alert a construction worker about potential collisions. Plus, the helmet can measure vital signs and send a signal to notify a worker when he or she should take a break.

4. Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses

Whereas safety glasses protect a construction worker’s eyes, AR glasses provide him or her with additional jobsite information. AR glasses can alert a worker about hazardous materials and safety protocols. It can also provide real-time information about the location of edges to help prevent falls.

5. Smart Clothing

Smart clothing can be worn that can detect a construction worker’s body temperature and watch for signs of fatigue. The clothing can even warn a worker if he or she may be exposed to dangerous gases.

What Does the Future Hold for Wearables in Construction?

Wearable technology is changing the way construction workers complete everyday tasks. The push for wearables in construction is strong and will increase in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, employers can embrace construction wearables to improve workplace safety now and in the future.

For employers that are considering wearables, check out any of the aforementioned options. This allows employers to weigh the pros and cons of different wearables and figure out if they are the right options for their workers.

If an employer invests in construction safety wearables, teach workers about them. This ensures that workers can properly use their wearables and get the most value out of them.

Finally, it can be beneficial to provide a workplace safety training program to workers. This program can teach workers about how to safely use wearables. It can also focus on aerial lift safety.

Certification training is a requirement for any employees that use aerial lifts, regardless of whether your company invests in construction wearables. Fortunately, CertifyMeOnline.net offers a training program that makes it simple for your workers to become OSHA-certified aerial lift operators.

Our program is designed for workers of all skill and experience levels. It enables them to become OSHA-certified aerial lift operators in as little as one hour. To learn more, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

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How to Manage Construction Industry Stress

construction industry stress

Construction industry stress can affect workers physically, mentally, and emotionally. But, those who know how to manage stress properly can minimize its impact.

Is Stress in the Construction Industry a Common Problem?

Research indicates that approximately 80% of workers across all industries feel stressed on the job. Meanwhile, construction workers face a wide range of stressors, including:

Long Work Hours:

Construction employees may start projects early in the morning and continue into the afternoon or evening. In some instances, construction workers can work more than 50 hours a week. The long work hours can cause workers to feel exhausted and make them increasingly susceptible to stress.

Physical Labor:

In construction, workers are tasked with performing strenuous activities that put stress on the body.

Dangerous Work:

Workers may feel stressed about having to use aerial work platforms (AWPs) or other heavy-duty equipment to complete tasks at construction sites. If used improperly, this equipment can lead to workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Stress in the construction industry can be problematic, but it is manageable. With the right approach, construction workers can find healthy ways to manage their stress.

Is It Possible to Avoid Stress?

There is no cure for stress in construction. Instead, construction workers should pursue healthy ways to manage their stress. That way, they can identify times when they feel anxious, worried, or panicked and safely address these feelings.

Tips to Manage Construction Industry Stress

Much in the same way there is no one-size-fits-all solution to avoid stress, there is no surefire option to manage construction industry stress. However, there are several tried-and-true techniques that can help construction workers manage their stress. These include:

Write Down Thoughts and Feelings in a Journal:

Construction workers can use a journal to put their thoughts and feelings on paper. This can help workers gain insights into their thoughts and feelings and help them identify the root cause of their stress.

Exercise Regularly:

It may seem impossible to find time for exercise. Yet, construction workers who take even a few minutes to exercise daily can reduce the body’s stress hormones. And, in the long run, exercise can help construction workers effectively cope with stress.

Perform Acts of Kindness:

Give a compliment to a colleague or superior or perform other acts of kindness. Positivity is contagious, and a construction worker who acts kindly towards others can feel good about himself or herself. Plus, this worker can simultaneously enjoy positive feelings and reduce their stress.

If stress feels like too much to handle, a construction worker should meet with their manager. At this point, the employee can work with their manager to find the best ways to alleviate stress.

How to Minimize Stress at Work

There is no need to let stress levels escalate at a construction site. If an employer can help its workers manage stress, it can improve employee satisfaction. At the same time, this employer can lower its risk of aerial lift accidents and similar issues.

Here’s how construction companies can help their workers cope with stress:

Keep the Lines of Communication Open:

Encourage workers to come forward any time they feel stressed about work. These workers can then work with their managers to find healthy ways to alleviate stress.

Watch for Warning Signs:

Keep an eye out for workers who are struggling to stay on track. If workers seem tired or irritable, they may need extra help to cope with stress.

Promote Employee Wellness:

Offer workers healthy snacks, time to exercise, and other employee wellness incentives, so they are well-equipped to manage stress throughout the work day.

Lastly, aerial lift safety training can help your workers identify the signs of stress when they use AWPs. This training can even help your workers comply with OSHA aerial lift training requirements.

CertifyMeOnline.net offers a comprehensive aerial lift safety training program that focuses on workplace stress and other safety topics. For more information about our program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

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Heat Stress Prevention in the Workplace: Here’s What You Need to Know

Aerial lift Tips

Hot temperatures can make it tough for aerial lift operators to stay focused. As an employer, you are responsible for educating your aerial lift operators about heat stress safety. By educating your employees about heat stress prevention, you can help them avoid heat-related illnesses that lead to workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

What Is Heat Stress?

Heat stress occurs if the body cannot get rid of excess heat. In this instance, the body’s core temperature and heart rate rises.

High humidity and air temperatures are key contributors to heat stress. Also, heat stress can affect those who come into contact with hot objects or perform strenuous physical activities.

What Are the Symptoms of Heat Stress?

Aerial lift operators dealing with heat stress can experience a variety of symptoms. Initially, heat stress can cause operators to lose concentration. Heat stress can and cause operators to become irritable or sick or lose the desire to consume water or other liquids. It can even be fatal if it goes unaddressed for an extended period of time.

Furthermore, aerial lift operators age 65 years and older are more susceptible to heat stress than others. Those who are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications also face a higher risk of heat stress symptoms.

Why Is Heat Stress Prevention Important?

Heat stress prevention is critical for all businesses that employ aerial lift operators. Since operators may spend long periods of time in hot temperatures, their employers must take steps to protect these workers against heat stress. Otherwise, prolonged exposure to extreme heat can increase the risk of aerial lift accidents.

Heat Stress Safety Tips

Here are five things you can do to protect your aerial lift operators against heat stress:

Offer Regular Breaks:

Require operators to take regular breaks during the day. Operators should take frequent breaks in hot temperatures.

Help Your Workers Stay Hydrated:

Give your operators plenty of opportunities to drink water throughout the day. This helps reduce the risk of dehydration.

Wear Light-Colored Clothing:

Encourage your operators to wear light-colored clothing that helps them stay cool.

Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs of Heat Stress:

Watch for operators who display any signs of heat stress. If an operator appears unfocused or fatigued, let him or her take a break. Or, seek out medical treatment.

Educate Your Workers About Heat Stress Safety:

Provide aerial lift safety training to educate your workers about heat stress and the dangers associated with it.

Remain persistent in your efforts to protect your workers against heat stress. That way, you can help your employees guard against heat stress and comply with OSHA regulations.

OSHA Heat Stress Safety Requirements

Up to 70% of outdoor fatalities occur in the first few days after employees work in hot temperatures, according to OSHA. Fortunately, you can establish a heat stress prevention program that aligns with OSHA requirements.

OSHA offers guidance to help businesses comply with heat stress safety regulations. Follow this guidance, and your business will be well-equipped to protect its workers against heat stress.

Learn More About Construction Heat Stress Safety

For those who want to learn more about heat stress safety for construction and other industries, CertifyMeOnline.net can help. We offer an OSHA-approved certification training program for aerial lift operators that provides insights into heat stress prevention and other safety topics.

We are happy to provide additional details about our training program, how it works, and its benefits. For more information about our program or to enroll your workers in it, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

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