From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
New COVID-19 Resources: Standards for Construction Sites, Construction Clearinghouse
As part of our commitment to helping the construction industry take necessary precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, CPWR and NABTU have released the COVID-19 Standards for U.S. Construction Sites. They are an evolution of the guidance we have been updating since early March and identify what steps should be taken to reduce construction worker exposure to the virus on the job. The hierarchy of controls, a basic principle of occupational safety and health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 are the foundations upon which this new document is based. The virus is a hazard on the job, and employers can eliminate some of the hazard by screening for infected workers. The hazard that remains from people who are infected and symptom-free can be reduced through good work practices like physical distancing and handwashing. Respirators, at the bottom of the hierarchy, are needed to protect workers where the recommended 6-foot distance is impossible. These new national standards for infectious disease exposure control practices on job sites -- available in English and Spanish -- are designed to prevent disease, disability and death.
Today also marks the launch of the new CPWR COVID-19 Construction Clearinghouse, which we established to give our industry easier access to reliable, current information. This free, online resource highlights resources on crucial topics such as Guidance on Workplace Practices, State and Local Requirements, Training Resources, and many others.
If you know of materials that should be considered for the Clearinghouse, particularly innovative practices and equipment being used on job sites to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please click here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff will follow up to learn more.
CPWR Data Bulletin: Coronavirus and Health Disparities in Construction
The next edition of CPWR's new Data Bulletin will be out later this month. It will provide updated construction worker employment and health information on groups at higher risk in the current pandemic. The bulletin focuses on older workers, Hispanic workers, black workers, and workers with underlying medical conditions or other risk factors defined by the CDC. Read the previous Data Bulletin on health insurance coverage among construction workers.
TOOLS FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH
Recent Webinars Launch First National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents and Offer Guidance on Responding to COVID-19
Struck-by incidents are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction. The NORA Construction Sector Council has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve awareness of work zone safety and ways to prevent struck-by incidents, including launching a National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents and establishing an online source for information on the Stand-Down. During this webinar, a panel of experts answered questions about struck-by hazards in work zones and provided practical information that stakeholders can use on job sites. Please share your Stand-Down activities and receive a certificate of participation.
CPWR and The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) also recently hosted a webinar on COVID-19 and the Construction Industry. Viewers heard from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Director Dr. John Howard about the pandemic and learned more about what NIOSH, CPWR, and TAUC are doing to address it. The webinar is now available on demand.
Our new Instagram channel provides an exciting, visual way to find resources and guidance to improve the safety and health of construction workers. Follow CPWR to receive the latest information.
NEWS & EVENTS
Thursday, May 28th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT: Increasing Awareness of Factors that Influence Trench Safety
Presenters: Joe Wise, Regional Customer Training Manager, United Rentals Trench Safety, and Eileen Betit, Research to Practice (r2p) Director, CPWR
Trench incidents and fatalities have increased over the past several years -- so much so that OSHA, intent on reversing this trend, updated its National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation in October 2018. Learn about a collaborative effort to increase awareness and knowledge of the factors that may contribute to trenching incidents and fatalities and ways to mitigate the risks.