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August 2009: For The Record

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August 2009

For The Record

Jennifer MorellA Little Safer?

Little by little, our industry is on a mission to save the lives of our workers. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has unveiled new workplace fall prevention standards.

The three standards are:

  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.6-2009 – Specification and Design Requirements for Active Fall Protection Systems
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009 – Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.13-2009 – Personal Energy Absorbers and Energy Absorbing Lanyards

The ASSE also reports that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of 5,657 fatal on-the-job injuries that occurred in 2007, 847 were attributed to falls. The ANSI/ASSE Z359.6-2009 standard has been created to help prevent injuries and death due to falls by specifying requirements for the design and performance of complete, active fall-protection systems. The three new standards will be available soon and will become part of the ASSE Fall Protection Code, with an effective date of Nov. 16, 2009.

A Texas construction safety initiative also is taking place. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will launch a major construction safety initiative in Texas to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities.

More workers die in Texas than in any other state. In 2008, there were 67 construction-industry fatalities, and, in 2009, there already have been 33. The rate of Hispanic fatalities in construction is especially alarming, having increased by 125 percent between 1992 and 2005. In 2007 and 2008, OSHA conducted more than 3,000 inspections in the Southeast. The agency cited a total of 4,390 violations.

As an aside, I’d like to remind you about our robust, newly re-designed Web site, www.MasonryMagazine.com. Be sure to check out our mid-summer product review, “Masonry Product Mini-reviews,” written by Tom Inglesby. Tom found some handy products for the jobsite while attending the 2009 National Hardware Show. The Masonry magazine Web site also features new products, industry information and timely news that you won’t see in the print version of our magazine.

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