Monday, April 25, 2016

New NIOSH video on Nail Gun Safety

The NIOSH Small Business Assistance Program and the NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health are pleased to inform you that the videos “Know Your Nailer: Nail Gun Safety” (long and short versions, both in English and Spanish) are now available on YouTube. The videos are also available on the NIOSH website at:  and .

Nail guns are used every day on many construction jobs—especially in residential construction. They boost productivity but also cause tens of thousands of painful injuries each year.  These videos provide brief, practical, and straight-to-the-point advice that contractors can use to prevent nail gun injuries on their worksites. The videos were developed based on numerous publications and information products resulting from NIOSH-funded studies, which are listed on the topic page in the link above.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Effects of Alcohol - Tool Box Talks

Download the full article.

The purpose of this toolbox talk is to provide some basic information and to increase the level of awareness to focus on this as a potential safety issue on the job. This will primarily address issues of “the morning after” affect.

The above information briefly summarizes some of the some of the effects of a person that is hung over. Direct effects of alcohol vary with the individuals. In general, a person will excrete approximately one alcohol drink per hour. Consider the following:
An employee is out until 1:00 a.m. and has consumed 12 or more beers. They show up to work at 7:00 a.m. This employee is likely to have at least six alcohol drinks in his system at the time of starting the work. At this rate, the employee will start work intoxicated, eventually drift into a hangover and will probably be working in a very dangerous state during most of the workday.

All employees should be aware of the condition their crew reports to work in. Specifically, employees that start work and are hung over from use of alcohol or drugs from the night before should be watched very closely. The following are some points to consider:
• A person with a hangover may have lower levels of alcohol in their system and may be “legally sober”.
• Any levels of alcohol in the system can affect the central nervous system, which will affect JUDGMENT and MOTOR SKILLS. (Judgment and Motor Skills are critical components of working safely on a construction site.

Employees that are hung over are impaired from low sugar levels, dehydration and may still be legally intoxicated.
Symptoms / Effects:
• Impaired judgment
• Decreased motor skills
• Potential for dizzy spells, etc.
Employees no longer under the influence of alcohol but still feeling hung over still have an effect:
Symptoms / Effects:
• Impaired judgment
• Decreased motor skills
• Dizziness
• Increased potential to lose consciousness

Bottom Line:
Employees that come to work with a hangover may become injured or injure others and should be asked to stop work and possibly sent home. Keep a close eye on your crew. Production is important, but employees that are under the effect of alcohol or hangovers are a serious safety issue that may wind up a tragedy.

This information is provided by Assurance Agency.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Eliminating Death by PowerPoint

Course Description

This hands-on class is suitable for PowerPoint 2010-2013 or 2016 users. The course is a full day of exploring the enhanced features in PowerPoint and provides a plethora of take home tutorials and materials for after class continuing activities. Safety training doesn't have to be boring if you're willing to change it. In this program you will learn to create more dynamic and visually appealing presentations using the more advanced features of PowerPoint. The course covers transitions and animation, themes, slide masters, advanced formatting, using templates, hyperlinking, collaborating with others and more. Students will be involved in activities that will teach them to use images, videos and other creative ways to eliminate the sterile use of bullet points and boring slide shows.

Prerequisites: Students must bring a laptop computer with PowerPoint (2010/2013/2016) preloaded and know the basic processes of opening files, typing text and using the slide show.

View the full course description and the registration page.
Thursday, April 28, 2016, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, lunch included.

Topics covered in typical class may include:
(Note: We may change or alter the course topics to meet the objectives of a particular class. The instructor will adjust to the questions and requests of the participants as necessary to meet their needs)
  • Customizing Your PowerPoints
  • Drawing Tools ◦Drawing Options
  • Controlling the Overall Look
  • Slide Shows, Animations and Transitions
  • PowerPoint Enhancements
  • Putting it all together

And a host of ways to use your imagination and style to your slideshows using the amazing power of modern presentation software and end the dreaded "Death by PowerPoint" of endless bullets and reading off slides that detracts from your presentation and your professional image.

Presented by: Bob LoMastro
LoMastro & Associates

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Construction Season Arrives,"Don't be that Driver" in Work Zones

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and the Illinois Tollway were joined by their industry partners today to kick off National Work Zone Awareness Week and to make a request to motorists: "Don't Be That Driver." To signal the start of construction season and call attention to this important issue, Gov. Bruce Rauner has proclaimed April 11-15 as "Work Zone Safety Week" in Illinois.

"Spring is here and that means construction season is underway in Illinois," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. "If you are on our roads, you will be driving through work zones. We ask you to be constantly alert and aware of your surroundings. The rules are very simple: See orange. Slow down. Save lives."
The theme for this year's National Work Zone Awareness Week is "Don't Be That Driver," reinforcing the message that driving in and around highway construction sites requires special attention. Lane closures, changes in traffic patterns, reductions in the speed limit and the presence of workers and equipment create an environment that demands drivers refrain from behavior that could create a distraction. According to recent studies, drivers engaged in activities other than driving, such as eating, grooming or using a mobile device, are up to four times more likely to be involved in a crash.
"Every day, first responders, highway workers, and those who assist stranded motorists place their lives in harm's way to ensure safe travel for Illinois citizens. Scott's Law, the Move Over Law, helps keep those people and motorists safe by requiring extra distance between workers and approaching vehicles," said Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz. "Please give them room to work. Always reduce your speed and be prepared to stop when entering a work zone. If you see flashing lights up ahead, slow down and move over."

This year, IDOT and the Illinois Tollway will be continuing their use of Smart Work Zones. The system utilizes roadway sensors to relay travel times via digital message boards in advance of a work zone so motorists are aware of any backups and can seek alternate routes. Speed indicator boards will be deployed again this year to increase awareness of work zone speed limits.
"We will be using all of our advanced technology to make our work zones safe," said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. "We ask drivers to do their part as well, including allowing extra time for their trips and then being prepared in work zones for sudden stops, changing traffic patterns, uneven pavement and the presence of workers or construction equipment near the roadway. Drivers who are distracted by hand-held cellphones or other electronics are not only endangering themselves and others, they are breaking the law."

To promote safety in the field, IDOT is working with its industry partners to host 10-minute "toolbox talks" at project locations throughout the week. The discussions are intended to be refreshers on work zone protocol to encourage safety throughout the construction season.

The public is encouraged to take an online quiz about work zone rules and driving tips by visiting the main IDOT page at You also can learn more about work zone safety by visiting

More than 4,300 motor vehicle crashes on average occur in Illinois work zones every year. Provisional data shows that 46 people were killed in Illinois work zone crashes in 2015.
In recent years, Illinois has strengthened laws to increase safety in work zones. Fines for speeding in work zones are $375 for first-time offenders and $1,000 for a second offense. The penalty for hitting a worker is a fine of up to $10,000 and 14 years in prison. The use of all hand-held electronic devices while driving at all times is prohibited.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Seven Common Causes of Incidents Tool Box Talks

Consider this statistic: 80 out of every 100 incidents are the fault of the person involved in the incident. Unsafe Acts cause four times as many incidents & injuries as unsafe conditions.


Friday, April 8, 2016

CPWR can help you Work Safely with Silica

On March 25, after some two decades of work, OSHA has at last issued the much-anticipated silica standard, a standard that will save the lives of thousands of construction workers who cut concrete, grind mortar or perform dozens of other tasks that expose them to respirable silica dust. It will preserve the health of tens of thousands more whose work puts them at risk of silicosis, COPD and lung cancer.

In the days to come, countless construction contractors, workers and safety professionals will be looking for guidance on this hazard. CPWR can help. I invite you to consult Work Safely with Silica, our one-stop online resource with information and tools to help identify silica hazards, understand the health risk, and easily find equipment and methods to control the dust.

A central feature of the site is the Create-A-Plan tool. This e-tool allows you to develop a job-specific plan for controlling silica exposures in just three easy steps, and includes options for identifying a material's silica content, determining the level of exposure, and finding available controls. As you make selections and enter information, silica-safe generates a control plan tailored to your jobsite that you can save, print, email, and -- as an added benefit -- use as a toolbox talk on the job.

Work Safely with Silica is a snap to use, can make compliance with the new standard simpler, and can save lives. Visit the site today at!

Pete Stafford
Executive Director
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, 8484 Georgia Ave. #1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Free Silica Health Standard Information Seminar

On March 24, 2016 OSHA finalized the Silica Health Standard, 29 CFR 1926.1153, publishing it in the Federal Register on March 25, 2016.  This seminar is designed to provide information to contractors who may be impacted by this final ruling.  Topics covered will include: a brief history of the standard, an explanation of the required elements and implementation dates for the construction rule and will provide an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Presented by John Dimos, MS, CIH, 

April 8, 2016, 9am - 11am

Free to attend. Due to limited seating registration is required.