Swimming Pool Construction Safety from an OSHA Perspective
When we think about swimming pool safety, we usually focus on what we can do to keep those close to us safe in and around the water. Other than perhaps wanting to relax, feel safe and comfortable, and enjoy ourselves, we usually don’t give much thought to what went into building the facilities we’re enjoying. At Chaikin Ultimate Pools (a DBA of The Ultimate in Pool Care), while we certainly like to think that we helped you get there, we also want you to know just how important all facets of safety are to us along the entire way.
Per the City of New York, Dept. of Buildings, there were 244 construction accidents involving 237 injuries, eight of which were fatalities, locally in 2014. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration reported 4,585 workers were killed nationwide on the job in 2013, highlighting the following:
Out of 4,101 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2013, 828 or 20.2% were in construction―that is, one in five worker deaths were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (57.7%) the construction worker deaths in 2013*, BLS reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 478 workers’ lives in America every year.*
The OSHA 10 Hour Training Course – Construction
We all know that construction sites can be dangerous places to work, especially as evidenced above. This includes swimming pool construction of course, and the last thing anyone wants to hear is that someone was hurt or fatally injured while working on their property or for them. Still, accidents do happen, and whether they involve injuries to personnel and/or damage to property, we feel it’s our job to try our best to prevent them; hence, our regular OSHA training, taught by Stu Cohen, with his extensive experience in safety and environmental health.
Per Stu, who is a certified OSHA instructor:
Clients gain from knowing Ed’s and Kyle’s workers are focused on safety because they get training to ensure they know the safe way to work. It is too common to read a newspaper today to find that a contractor disregarded safety rules and ended up getting someone hurt or damaging a client’s property.
Stu, a retired FAA employee and OSHA instructor, is a CBSP Board Certified Safety Professional, a certified Construction Health & Safety Technician, and a Certified Environmental Health & Safety Trainer. The 10 hour course he teaches our staff is intended to provide construction workers with a basic knowledge of safety and health hazards found on many construction sites. It also provides students with an overview of how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) operates.
The course itself is based on the federal OSHA construction standards. Stu also address NYS-specific OSHA requirements, which are required for the work that we do.
Topics covered in the course include:
- Introduction to OSHA;
- Struck by (e.g., falling objects, trucks, heavy equipment, cranes);
- Caught-In or Between (e.g., trench hazards, equipment);
- Personal Protective Equipment;
- Health Hazards in Construction;
- Material Handling;
- Hot work/fire protection.
Students successfully completing this training course receive the official Dept. of Labor OSHA 10 hour wallet card, which is accepted in all 50 states and US territories, and is also needed to prove compliance to be allowed to work in NYC or on municipal contracts (whether for the state, counties, cities, towns, or villages in NY). Without this card, workers cannot work on municipal contracts under either NYC Local Law 41 or the NYS Wicks Law.
Although it is permitted to take this course online, as a workplace safety consultant with decades of experience, Stu recommends instructor-led or onsite training because of the more “hands-on” learning environment. Students learn more from the direct interaction between and instructor and other students.
Again, as you can see, we take safety very seriously at the Ultimate in Pool Care, whether that of our clients’, or of our staff. If you’d like to know more about this and/or our work in general, why not give us a call at 631-242-2667, or contact us via our Contact page.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration. (2015). Commonly Used Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html. For updated details, see: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in cooperation with state, New York City, District of Columbia, and federal agencies. (2015). Revisions to the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) counts. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfoi_revised13.pdf