Volume One, Number Two, April 2008
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|Greetings from the Co-Chairs|
Welcome to the second issue of the NORA Construction Sector Newsletter. Our intention is to keep you posted on NORA Construction Sector developments and to provide construction-related information that you can use to reduce injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
Our current issue includes a report on the special NORA Construction Sector session held in February during the 18th Annual Construction Conference and Exposition, and includes some new features such as "World of Construction," which spotlights international developments of interest, and "News from Our Partners."
As we compiled this issue, we realized there was a theme emerging. Many of the stories describe campaigns and new communication approaches being used to get safety and health messages out to workers, contractors, and the public. A heightened awareness of safety issues can provide the motivation needed to improve workplace practices and conditions. Several of the draft NORA goals include concepts for campaigns. We hope this issue helps you to also think about how to use these approaches in your own work.
The NORA Construction Agenda is shaping up, and we believe it will provide many opportunities for industry stakeholders to work together on issues of mutual interest in the years ahead. Please take a look at the goals and consider making a commitment to work with us on at least two. Please join us!
|Sector Council News|
A NORA Construction Session was held on February 14, 2008, in conjunction with the 18th Annual Construction Safety Conference and Exposition in Rosemont, Illinois. About 100 participants attended the meeting with 10 breakout sessions that provided opportunities for discussion and input on draft goals in a small group setting. A number of suggestions for clarifying and improving the draft goals, along with ideas for potential industry partners for the various goal topics, were discussed. The meeting also resulted in new "corresponding members" who will join the existing workgroups developing each strategic goal. Currently, these workgroups are in the process of reviewing the meeting input and making appropriate changes to the goals. The workgroups each reported back to the group for the afternoon wrap-up session.
NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard gave the conference's keynote address, highlighting the progress that has been made in construction safety and health since the Construction Safety Conference began 18 years ago. Noting that many challenges remain in an industry sector that loses more workers to fatal injuries than any other, he emphasized that "the focus of the NIOSH Construction Program in the Second Decade of NORA is on moving construction safety and health research into daily construction safety practice. The outcome or impact that we need to be able to demonstrate is that our activities result in measurable reduction in construction worker injury and death." Dr. Howard went on to note that NIOSH research and supported research has led to important accomplishments, and that the biggest impacts have been achieved through partnerships. He reminded attendees that NORA is not just about NIOSH - it is intended to be a national sector effort with broad participation, stating, "I encourage every construction organization here to make a commitment to working on at least two strategic goals in the National Construction Agenda. Participation can range from making your job sites accessible to researchers for field research to taking the lead on developing research-to-practice products from research to surveying your members about current practices and needs related to a specific subject."
The meeting was a success, and we are on the way to finalizing the National Construction Agenda. The comment period ends on April 30, 2008. Please go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora/comment/public/ConstDraftDec2007/ to view the goals and to submit a comment. Beginning with this issue, we will focus on one of the draft NORA Agenda goal topics under "Construction Goal Spotlight" in this newsletter.
|News from our Partners|
National Work Zone Awareness Week
This year, April 7-11 marked National Work Zone Awareness Week. The effort, now in its 8th year, aims to draw greater public attention to this serious and often overlooked public health issue affecting both the general motoring public and construction workers. The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse maintains information based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation showing more than 1,000 people are killed and 45,000 injured annually in work zone crashes. The campaign includes a number of public service announcements and coordination of state and national initiatives around this issue. The Clearinghouse, owned by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and housed at the Texas Transportation Institute under contract from the Department of Transportation, has been redesigned and a new listserv feature was launched this year. Checkout the clearinghouse at
www.workzonesafety.org to find:
New "Safe in Sound" program to include an award for best Hearing Conservation Program in construction.
Hearing loss is a major problem in many industries including construction. To help tackle this issue and recognize excellence in hearing loss prevention, NIOSH, in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), has created a new award to be given each year to the companies with the best hearing loss prevention programs. This award is called "Safe in Sound" and will be first presented at the NHCA meeting in February 2009 in Atlanta, Ga. One award will be given in the manufacturing sector, one in the service sector and one in construction. An additional award will be given for an innovation in hearing loss prevention, which could be anything from a new product, training program, or software program, to another new and effective idea. A website has been set up for more information on the award. You can find out how to submit nominations at www.safeinsound.us. If you know of any contractors with great hearing loss prevention programs, encourage them to apply. We look forward to hearing from you.
Innovative Outreach to Spanish-speaking Construction Workers through Telenovelas
To help deliver safety and health messages to Spanish-speaking workers, a team from NIOSH, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, and the Hollywood Health & Society of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California worked with the Spanish language network Telemundo to incorporate the messages into a show's storylines. The team served as technical advisors in the development of a construction safety storyline for a popular "telenovela," or soap opera. Working with Telemundo, a storyline was developed that features a construction worker who suffers a fall from a ladder while painting. The injury has serious economic and personal consequences for the worker, who is illegal and has minimal safety training. The nationally telecast storyline of Tere and Ramón began airing April 1 on "Pecados Ajenos," or "The Sins of Others."
A public service announcement delivering the message that construction injuries and deaths can be prevented will air during the show, and viewers will be directed to www.MiTrabajoSeguro.com, a Spanish-language website that gives clear, easy-to-understand information on ladder safety tips. NIOSH and its partners will also evaluate the success of the storyline and the public service announcement. More information about the telenovela project is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/features/constructionfalls/telenovela_falls.html
OSHA Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign
OSHA announced on March 28 that this year's "Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign" will again focus on construction, with an emphasis on residential construction. OSHA is planning to kick off the campaign on April 21, 2008 with a special web page http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/teenworkers/index.html. and is welcoming partners who wish to work with them. To find out more about partnering opportunities, contact Elise Handelman at OSHA, 202-693-1987.
NIOSH has a useful pamphlet for young workers in construction:
Additional information on young workers includes:
Online version of Construction Chart Book now available
"The Construction Chart Book, Fourth Edition" is now available as a free download from CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training. This resource, prepared with support from NIOSH, provides a succinct and extensive overview of available data on the construction industry. The online version allows the user to copy tables and graphs in either Powerpoint or spreadsheet format for further use. To preview the book or get a free download, go to www.cpwr.com or http://www.cpwr.com/rp-chartbook.html
The data cover all facets of the U.S. construction industry: economic, demographic, employment/income, education/training, and safety and health issues. This edition features topics and information not covered in previous editions, uses new data sources, and expands coverage of Hispanic workers. Soft cover editions are also available from CPWR.
"Construction Solutions" - New Approach to Providing Solutions for Construction Hazards
"Construction Solutions" (http://www.cpwrconstructionsolutions.org/) is CPWR's new online database to provide contractors, owners, engineers, and construction workers at all levels free and easy access to information on construction hazards and ways to reduce or eliminate them. The site currently includes solutions for Masonry, Cement, and Plaster work tasks, with plans to expand to eventually cover all trades. Users can select a task, such as laying brick, block or stone, troweling surface materials, and concrete work, then read about associated masonry hazards such as noise, skin contact with chemicals, manual materials handling (lifting and carrying), and silica dust, plus ways to protect workers. The online tool offers a unique feature - a section eliciting contributions from practitioners. Users are encouraged to submit a solution they've used successfully on a worksite to reduce or eliminate a hazard, which will be reviewed and posted by subject-matter experts. View the database at its website, www.cpwrConstructionSolutions.org
NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard and Voluntary Protection Program Association for Construction (VPPAC) Director Mike Hayslip signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 14th, 2008, at the NORA Construction Sector Session in Rosemont, Illinois. The two organizations will work cooperatively to provide outreach, communication, and professional development opportunities on construction and to encourage participation in NORA Construction goal activities. The VPPAC website is at http://www.vppac.org/
Safety and Health Outreach at CONEXPO
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) helped coordinate and provide space for NIOSH in the "Safety Zone" at the CONEXPO-CON AGG 2008 meeting March 11-14 in Las Vegas. This large (144,600 attendees) tradeshow for construction equipment is held every three years. NIOSH used the space to offer hearing tests, provide materials, and to demonstrate work zone interventions such as internal traffic control plans and truck-mounted, tag-based backup warning systems for construction equipment.
Comparing Contractor Respirator Practices to Regulations and Recommendations
NIOSH and EG&G Technical Services Inc. prepared a short report titled "Breathe Easier, Work Safer" for the January/February 2008 issue of "Painting and Wallcovering Contractor Magazine" describing the results from a 2001 survey of respiratory practices among construction special trade contractors. The survey assessed respirator use at 40,002 randomly selected private U.S. establishments in 2001, yielding the most recent data available.
Overall, 81 percent of companies (about 32,634 establishments) reported three or more indicators of a potentially inadequate respiratory protection program. Dust, paint vapors, solvents, silica dust, lead, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, asbestos, welding fumes and toluene were the substances for which respirators were most frequently used. The report describes 11 of the questions used in the survey along with results and recommendations specific to each. See the report at: http://www.paintstore.com/article.php?item=2397
|World of Construction||
Construction is a major industry in every country and approaches used elsewhere can sometimes provide a fresh perspective that can stimulate how we look at problems and solutions here in the United States. Beginning with this issue, we plan to include an example of an interesting development or approach from another country. Given the theme of communication and outreach efforts, we selected an example of a campaign from the United Kingdom (UK).
The "Shattered Lives Campaign" was launched in March of 2008 to raise awareness and reduce injuries from slips, trips and falls. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is taking on this issue in several industry sectors including construction. They are combining the use of focused workplace inspections with a campaign to raise awareness among employers and workers. The campaign includes public service announcements/advertisements in the national press, local radio, and online. Click on the construction worker at http://www.hse.gov.uk/shatteredlives/index.htm?ebul=cons/feb-08&cr=03 to see examples of the materials. The examples help both workers and managers to see the impacts that these types of injuries can have to motivate them to address slips, trips, and falls. Common tool box talk materials and a video (see http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/slips/video/slips.htm) were also developed by the campaign and participants were encouraged to sign up other construction partners to spread the word - see http://www.hse.gov.uk/shatteredlives/stakeholders.htm
The NORA Construction Agenda does include a proposal for a national campaign in the U.S. on falls, the top killer of construction workers.
Join NIOSH and its partners in Denver, Colorado on July 29, 2008, for the NORA Symposium 2008: Public Market for Ideas and Partnerships. To find out more about the upcoming symposium go to: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora/symp08/default.html
ASSE Symposium on Construction Safety
The American Society of Safety Engineers is currently planning a symposium to be held November 20-21, 2008, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Contact Trudy Goldman of ASSE at 847-768-3405 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
|Recent and Upcoming Communication Products||
Here are some recent NIOSH supported construction products that you might be interested in:
NIOSH PtD April Newsletter to Focus on Construction
The NIOSH Prevention through Design (PtD) program launched an electronic newsletter titled: "PtD in Motion" on Feb. 5, 2008. See http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ptd/pdfs/PtD-inMotion-Issue1.pdf The April issue of "PtD in Motion" will focus on the Construction Sector. To sign up for the newsletter, send an email to: email@example.com
The results of the NIOSH July 2007 PtD conference, including the report from the construction sector breakout group, is expected to be published by April 30, 2008 in a special PtD Edition of the Journal of Safety Research. The link to the Journal, published in conjunction with the National Safety Council is: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/679/description#description
Addressing construction safety and health hazards via design is one of the NORA Construction Sector Goals.
Ergonomics for Construction Workers - awards and developments
"Ergonomics for Construction Workers," the NIOSH publication (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-122/) announced in Issue 1 of the NORA Construction Sector News, has been very popular. It was featured in the NIOSH Science Blog in December of 2007 http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/blog/nsb121707_construction.html and it was one of six finalists in the Training and Education category of the Ergo Cup® Competition at the 11th Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference held March 10 - 14 in Orlando, Florida. Authors Jim Albers and Cherie Estill attended the conference to participate in the competition and promote recent NIOSH ergonomics publications. The Ergo Cup® is an internationally-recognized award presented by the Institute of Industrial Engineers to organizations that have developed an effective ergonomics solution or education initiative within the last 24 months. Work is underway to develop a Spanish language version of this publication.
Crane Safety - A Note on Existing Resources
Recent fatal crane accidents in New York City and Miami have raised awareness about crane safety issues. NIOSH has a number of existing materials on cranes that construction practitioners might find helpful for worker or supervisor training such as:
Construction Goal Spotlight
Beginning with this issue, we will be focusing on one of the 14 strategic goals from the National Construction Agenda. This focus piece will function like an executive summary to describe the key issues, solutions and partners needed. While it won't provide the actual wording of the draft goals or other details it will provide a link for those interested in taking a closer look.
STRATEGIC GOAL 1.0 - Reduce Construction Worker fatalities and serious injuries caused by falls to a lower level
Why is this important for construction?
Falls-to-a-lower-level is the largest single source of fatal injuries for construction workers, accounting for 33% of total construction fatalities in 2005. While construction represents about 8% of all U.S. workers, construction workers experienced 51% (394) of the 770 fall fatalities that occurred across all industries in 2005. Occupations with high frequencies of fatal falls include ironworkers, roofers, and laborers (approximately 68, 26, and 10 deaths per 100,0000 FTEs per year respectively) in comparison with the fall rate for all construction occupations of about four per 100,000 FTEs.
Address technical solution gaps, increase implementation of effective fall prevention measures, and utilize design approaches and social marketing campaigns to support a 33% reduction in the rate of fatal falls among U.S. construction workers over the decade.
What do we need to know?
Much is known about risk factors associated with falls and substantial regulations, guidance, and training materials exist for falls. However, we have identified needs in the following areas:
What solutions and outcomes can we expect from the NORA effort?
What construction partners are needed?
Looking for more information, partnering opportunities or want to share comments?
Go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora/comment/public/ConstDraftDec2007/ for the full version of the document or to submit comments.
To receive NIOSH documents or for more information about occupational safety and health topics, contact:
|Sign Up to Receive the NORA Construction Sector News|
To sign up, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/News/NORA/Construction/.