OSHA Releases Guidance on Limiting Workplace Exposure to the Coronavirus

As states begin to ease lockdown restrictions, many businesses are looking for ways to reopen while maintaining social distancing guidelines and protecting their employees.

To help businesses prevent outbreaks in their workplaces, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an alert listing ways employers can limit worker exposure to the coronavirus.

According to OSHA, safety measures businesses can implement include:

  • Encouraging workers to stay home if they are sick;
  • Isolating any worker who begins to exhibit symptoms until they can either go home or leave to seek medical care;
  • Establishing flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), if feasible;
  • Staggering breaks and rearranging seating in common break areas to maintain physical distance between workers;
  • In workplaces where customers are present, marking six-foot distances with floor tape in areas where lines form, using drive-through windows or curbside pickup and limiting the number of customers allowed at one time;
  • Moving or repositioning workstations to create more distance and installing plexiglass partitions; and
  • Encouraging workers to bring any safety and health concerns to the employer’s attention.

The new alert is available for download in English and Spanish.

These measures aim to address concerns many employees have about safely returning to work and provide a roadmap for employers to implement the necessary measures to alleviate these concerns and provide a safe and healthy work environment.

OSHA has also published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19  and other recommendations to educate workers and employers on how to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.

For more comprehensive coronavirus resources, visit abc.org/coronavirus.

Greetings, cornhusker Chapter!

Today we discuss somewhat of a generic topic, but it's all too commonly a piece of our daily uniform.  That item is your hard hat.  While some of us veterans have been wielding this thing for decades, not all of us have that depth of experience.  It's essential we teach our junior employees to care for and respect this equipment as well.  

The average safety hard hat weighs about 14 ounces.  The average man's head weighs 14 pounds. So, there's an ounce of safety for every pound of head - provided the head protection is worn correctly and maintained.

The brain is the control center of the body.  The slightest damage to any part of the brain will cause malfunction of some area of the body.  The skull, under normal circumstances, protects the brain.  But when a possibility of injury from falling or flying objects exists, additional protection is required.

Hard hats not only reduce the chances of serious injury resulting from falling objects but protect you when you bump your head on things - like machinery, ductwork, ceiling tie wires, and forms.  Non-conductive hard hats protect you from electrical shock and burns.  Never wear metal hard hats around electrical work.

Make sure there is a minimum of 1" between the top of your head, and the inside of the shell of your hard hat. 

HOW TO CARE FOR HARD HATS

The better care you take of your hard hat, the better care it will take of you.  Here are some suggestions:

1. Properly adjust suspension systems to maintain clearance between your head and the shell of the hat.

2. Don't cut holes for ventilation.  Don't heat and bend.

3. Don't substitute a "bump cap."  They aren't strong enough.

4. Don't paint your hard hat.

5. Don't put anything under it except your head; this includes cigarettes or notebooks.

6. Don't wear it backwards.

Have you started your STEP application yet???

Deadline for Recognition at EIC is July 3rd

 

Click here and get the 2020 application started!

2019 STEP Award Winners

  • Anderson Bros. Elec., Plg., & Htg., Inc.
  • Bay Construction Company, Inc.
  • Cheever Construction Company
  • DaKO Services, LLC
  • Electronic Contracting Company
  • Elkhorn West Construction, Inc.
  • General Excavating
  • Gethmann Construction Co., Inc.
  • HACO Electric Co., Inc.
  • IES Commercial, Inc.
  • Interstates
  • Johnson Drywall Co., Inc.
  • Lueder Construction Company
  • Lund-Ross Constructors, Inc.
  • McCoy Construction, LLC
  • Midlands Mechanical, Inc.
  • NGC Group Inc.
  • Omaha Door & Window Co., Inc.
  • Overland Constructors, Inc.
  • Sampson Construction Co., Inc
  • Sentry Electric, Inc.
  • Signature Electric - D & J, LLC
  • Watts Electric Company
  • Willmar Electric Service
  • Wolfe Electric Co., Inc.

 

Concerns with glasses fogging up while wearing masks…A couple of resources for anti-fog products

 
 


Reduce Construction Risk With Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

From Construction Executive

Technology’s impact on the construction industry cannot be overstated. The industry has seen significant advancements impacting areas such as bidding/estimating, contract and insurance review and compliance, scheduling, safety and overall project and document management. The advent of smart phones, tablets and wearables has brought this technology out to those in the field, and allows data collection directly from their location, further increasing the value delivered. 

Continued advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning and the application of these principals to the construction industry are becoming recognized for what they are—powerful tools to reduce and address construction risks encountered before, during and after construction of a project. Understanding the technology, where to find it and how to use it are critical first steps to reaping the tremendous risk mitigation benefits. 

What are “Artificial Intelligence” and “Machine Learning,” and are they the same thing? Artificial intelligence, often referred to simply as “AI,” is the broad idea of using machines (e.g., computers) to execute tasks otherwise requiring human review and operation. AI sometimes uses “Machine Learning” to automatically adapt and learn from the processing and review of prior data without express updating by human reviewers and programmers. 

The application of this technology to reduce risk in the construction industry was greatly expanded by the advent of Natural Language Data Extraction, which allows AI platforms to identify and extract data from unstructured text in any format or order. Algorithms and platforms now exist to allow users to automatically identify, extract and categorize natural language from various sources such as contract documents, insurance policies, daily reports, change orders and RFI responses. 

For example, imagine the power of a platform that can automatically identify design issues necessitating a change order from RFI responses, locate information in contract documents and insurance policies, or automatically identify and calculate weather-related delays from schedule updates and daily reports. Identifying and extracting issues and data from natural language displayed in any form is complicated and requires the appropriate AI platform and appropriately trained and developed algorithms. 

One of the most prevalent and highly developed uses of AI in construction revolves around image recognition. Many companies have taken advantage of this type of AI and machine learning from simple use cases such as photo tagging, which is similar to running a Google search for images. The platform can identify all types of information from video and photographic images, often critical in tracking the status and progress of construction projects. More specifically, some companies have built predictive models to identify safety risks on projects to avoid potential incidents or accidents. This use case can provide tremendous value, especially now with the focus on safety measures such as the wearing of masks and social distancing.

Another area where AI and machine learning have impacted the construction industry relates to scheduling. Given the availability of historical scheduling data and its somewhat structured nature, several companies have been tackling the challenge of providing insights into project scheduling by developing models to optimize and predict schedule results based on historical data. This allows alternative schedule options to be evaluated instead of locking in the first one that works. While this technology is early in its development, it is anticipated to provide significant value and transparency to the construction industry and help reduce the risk of delays.

With many different platforms and applications now offering users in the construction industry the ability to unlock the power and “magic” of AI and machine learning to extract data, including from natural language, knowing how to evaluate platforms is important. 

Accuracy is key, and AI technology is not perfect. Users want to find all the relevant information without anything being missed, but also do not want to have large amounts of incorrect responses, which will serve to waste time and limit the value received. In order to achieve both, the model should have high “precision” and “recall” scores. 

Precision is how often a model incorrectly identifies information (i.e. mislabeling a waiver of subrogation clause as a waiver of consequential damages). Recall is whether the model identifies all instances of an item (i.e. missing a potential cause of delay such as rain from daily reports). Good models will have high precision, as well as high recall scores. Do not be afraid to ask for any platform’s scores for each of its algorithms.

It is also important to consider the ease of interaction for users and integration with current systems. An accurate and sophisticated platform that is difficult to use and not integrated with the current systems likely will not be used by the team or will be incorrectly used. 

Last but certainly not least, is security and privacy. Make sure that the platform where information (whether in the AI/machine learning space or otherwise) is deploying best-in class cyber security measures/practices and will keep company information private. Be sure to have information technology partners and vendors review any proposed platform to confirm that it complies with internal requirements and any commitments for privacy and security that may have made to third parties such as owners or other end users. 

Once the right platform has been identified and implemented, projects can be assessed more intelligently, yielding long term results of a more efficient and safer job site. As AI and machine learning continue to advance, it’s only a matter of time before more and more construction companies start to reap the benefits of these powerful tools.

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Please continue to monitor ABC National's Preparedness Recovery Resources site Listed Below

Keep checking https://abc.org/Safety/Emergency-Preparedness-Recovery-Resources for new resources, which are being uploaded as soon as they become available.

 

Upcoming Safety Classes

Lincoln:

·        First Aid/CPR/AED: July 14th 7:30 am -12:30 pm

·        OSHA 10: October 7th-8th 7:30 am -12:30 pm

·        OSHA 30: TBD

Omaha:

 OSHA 10: October 21st-22nd 7:30 am -12:30 pm

OSHA 30: TBD

To sign up click here, visit us at abcnebraska.org or call (402) 477-4451

 ABC scheduled safety classes through July 1st are canceled. If your company has scheduled a safety class, we will accommodate those classes based upon the scheduling company's  policy.