OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has prescribed many standards for companies to make sure that worker safety is prioritized.
Companies, especially those in the construction industry, must ensure that the safety standards are implemented effectively through web-based training.
OSHA requires the construction industry employers to have a specific concentration of chemicals in the air (Parts Per Molecule), which should not exceed a certain limit. It has stated such concentrations of such chemicals for about 500 substances for workers in construction and other industries, including shipyard employment.
Shipyard employment also includes exposure to chemicals; hence, web-based training is required for such workers. The workers come in contact with such chemicals when they repair ships. Their work includes cutting and joining steel on various parts and plumbing, involving exposure to chemicals such as nitrogen dioxide.
What are basic safety practices for construction sites?
Construction companies must ensure that they provide information about dangerous chemicals to employees and customers. Web-based training is required for this purpose. The employees must provide proper training to workers who are required to deal with these chemicals so that no harm is caused. They must be given instructions in print to take with them to work.
OSHA has stated a hazard specification standard (safety data sheets) for chemical and construction employers to adhere to. Per these standards, each container storing such chemicals must have labels containing pictograms. The employee must find these labels understandable to handle these chemicals with care so that no acidic burns are caused. In the construction industry, adequate importance must be placed on reporting any lack of safety equipment such as PPE.
The workers should be given web-based training to use reporting systems. The construction sites must have a medical team to deal with circumstances with excessive exposure to dangerous chemicals. The web-based training can explain the proper ways to handle the chemicals through simulations where it can display how toxic exposure can harm a worker’s health and what to do in case of certain symptoms.
Difference between (Permissible Exposure Limit)PEL AND STEL(Short Time Exposure Limit)
The construction companies must also know the permissible exposure limits (PEL) for chemicals, i.e., workers can’t be exposed to such concentrations of airborne chemicals for more than 8 or even lesser hours in a day, depending on what can be aftereffects if the chemical is inhaled.
The companies must know that they are supposed to follow the PEL values of concentration of chemicals in the air, but if it’s exceeded, it’s not to be more than STEL. This STEL refers to the Short Term Exposure Limit, which implies how much hazardous substance (time-weighted average) is present in the air for a short period of exposure of 15 minutes. This cannot happen for a duration of 15 minutes or more and should only happen a maximum of 4 times. Moreover, there should also be a time duration of 60 minutes elapsed between such exposures.
If the amount of substance is higher than STEL during such time, then it can prove to be toxic to the worker’s health. The STEL exceeding the PEL rule is applicable when the amount of substance in the air is not constant during the day.
For example, OSHA has made it mandatory that the PEL for carbon monoxide in the air is 50ppm for an 8-hour work schedule.
What are Safety Data Sheets?
OSHA requires companies to have a mandatory Safety Data Sheet. The safety data sheets, which have a 16-section format, must also be explained to onsite construction employees to ensure they face no trouble.
In Section 8 of the Safety Data Sheet, there should be the inclusion of the PEL, as prescribed by OSHA.
These Safety Data Sheets must be compulsorily prepared either by the construction industry employer or the chemical importer or manufacturer.
This data sheet must also contain useful information for workers while picking up containers with dangerous chemicals. So, Section 3 must include data about the ingredients of these chemicals. Moreover, if any spill happens, comprehensive information must be included in section 4 of the data sheet, like how to recognize symptoms and how one should take care of the victim because any delayed response can be life-threatening. The symptoms can be acute or severe, and Section 4 must cover the responses to both situations.
Section 5 must include details about how to douse fires caused by chemical leaks. There should also be measures on how to wipe such chemicals in case any spill happens, included in Section 6 of the Safety Data Sheet.
Although a Safety Data Sheet is mandatory, workers might not have everything ingrained in their memory, and any forgetfulness and negligence in such cases can cause problems. Hence, simulation-based videos must also supplement such a Safety Data Sheet to produce better results.
Consequences of non-compliance
The company can lose not only valuable man-hours if workers sustain injuries due to inhaling such chemicals, but also neurological injuries can be caused to workers, making the company liable to pay massive damages. A company must also maintain that laws are followed pertaining to such dangerous chemicals. It should have evidence regarding the management controls to handle the risks related to the release of such chemicals.
We Creativ Technologies have prepared multitude of detailed videos for our clients including simulations about the OSHA compliance standards.