Safety Matters - Construction Safety and Health Update
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)
Top News
On Thursday, February 25, 2021, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General/Office of Audit issued a report titled COVID-19: Increased Worksite Complaints and Reduced OSHA Inspections Leave U.S. Workers’ Safety at Increased Risk. The audit underlying the report covered only the time period spanning February 1, 2020, through October 26, 2020.
Every year over 100 people die in ladder-related accidents, and thousands suffer disabling injuries. Join the American Ladder Institute (ALI) and participate in the fifth annual National Ladder Safety Month February 22 - March 31. March 2021, National Ladder Safety Month, will bring heightened awareness to the importance of the safe use of ladders through resources, training and a national dialogue. Click to learn more about ALI, National Ladder Safety Month, How to Participate, and Ladder Safety Resources.
According to the National Association of Women in Construction, women make up 9.9 percent of the construction industry in the United States. March 7-13, 2021, is Women in Construction (WIC) Week, putting the spotlight on the more than 1 million women in the construction workforce and promoting the numerous opportunities for women in this essential industry. For more information on WIC, click here.
A feature article in the March/April 2021 issue of Constructor magazine tells the story of the women team members at Flatiron, a member of multiple AGC chapters, who for the first time ever are wearing certified Class-3 safety vest designed specifically for female bodies.
The AGC Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA), sponsored by Willis Towers Watson, is the industry’s elite safety excellence awards program. The CSEA recognizes companies that have developed and implemented premier safety and risk control programs and showcases companies that have achieved continuous improvement and maintenance of their safety and health management systems. Don’t miss this opportunity to be recognized for your best-in-class safety program! For more information on the CSEA program, please visit The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
Want to be featured in our next Member Spotlight? Check out the AGC Connection App for details on how to showcase a project or program you are proud of! Download the app here if you haven’t already!
McGriff, Seibels & Williams
Regulatory & Legislative Updates
On February 24, AGC called on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to follow the traditional federal regulatory processes that allow for all industries—including construction—to better inform any new regulations the agency seeks to put forth concerning COVID-19 based on a thorough review of science, experience and practical industry-specific approaches. As it stands, a recent executive order effectively instructs OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) on COVID-19 by March 15 and then issue a permanent standard within six months. AGC is concerned that the rush to issue an ETS and permanent standard could negatively impact the safety and health procedures that the construction industry has implemented since the beginning of the pandemic with great success. 
For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon, Senior Director, Safety & Health Services at
On February 5, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to update the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the seventh revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
OSHA expects the HCS update will increase worker protections, and reduce the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries by further improving the information on the labels and Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals. Proposed modifications will also address issues since implementation of the 2012 standard, and improve alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.
Individuals may submit comments identified by Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001, electronically at, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Read the Federal Register notice for details. The deadline for submitting comments is April 19, 2021. Read the complete trade release here.
The Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act bill now making its way through Congress attempts to overturn decades of federal policy. Despite its name, the PRO Act does much more than protect an employee’s right to organize and engage in collective bargaining. In fact, the PRO Act would expand the economic weapons available to unions at the bargaining table, at the workplace, and beyond. While the union-favoring legislation presents obvious concerns for open-shop contractors, union contractors may not realize the detrimental impact it could have on them. AGC’s CEO Stephen Sandherr explains on this episode exactly HOW and WHY this bill has potential to cause significant disruption in the construction industry, both for firms and the workers they employ, and upset the delicate balance of rights and restrictions established over decades by the NLRB, courts, and Congress.

March 17, 2021 | 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT | Register Now 
Being safe means paying attention to both mind and body. It is about more than just wearing hardhats and safety glasses. It means recognizing how important mental health really is to everyone’s overall safety. There is help available to combat suicide, depression, distractions and more.
• Be present: mental awareness is critically important for workers to stay safe
• Be focused: being mentally focused on the job means being prepared and identifying risks
• Be safe: help is available to combat fatigue, drug abuse and more
• Thank you: our workers are essential and so is their total wellbeing
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On March 1, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it has scheduled the eighth annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction for May 3-7, 2021. OSHA encourages construction employers and other stakeholders to join the event to promote awareness and training to address one of the industry’s most serious dangers.
“Workers suffer serious and fatal injuries from falls and have a devastating impact on families and businesses,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health James Frederick. “This important collaboration with the construction industry encourages employers to learn how to better control fall-related hazards and improve their safety and health programs.”
OSHA’s Fall Prevention Stand-Down webpage offers a wide range of compliance resources in many languages, including Spanish, Polish, Russian and Portuguese.
Every year during Construction Safety Week, construction companies reinforce and celebrate our shared commitment to safety with mass safety meetings, equipment demonstrations, job tours, appreciation barbecues and more. This year’s theme, Committed to Holistic Safety, is focused on the outside stresses and distractions that can take us out of our element, interfere with our focus and awareness and impact everything from our decision-making abilities to our reaction times. Our jobs are both physically and mentally demanding - safety extends beyond gloves, glasses and harnesses, beyond just an item on a checklist. Struggles with anxiety, depression or stress, family tension, financial concerns, unresolved arguments or frustrations, can all lead to distraction, miscommunication and unpreparedness, all primary causes of workplace incidents. We must prioritize both physical and psychological safety in the workplace, and how together, they play an important role in our relationships with our team members and with our ability to bring our safest, most productive, best selves to work every day.
Bring Safety Week to life at your company by planning events on your projects and in your offices. Click here to access and download all of the tools and resources you’ll need to get started on planning your activities, including tips, best practices and all of the Safety Week branded materials you’ll need to support your events and communication.
Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America's workers safe.
Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started, energize an existing one, or provide a chance to recognize your safety successes.
All organizations looking for an opportunity to recognize their commitment to safety are welcome to participate. Last year, more than 3,400 businesses helped to raise awareness about workers' health and safety!
Zero losses. Zero defects. Zero injuries.
In 2021, we're pursuing zero: zero losses, zero defects, zero injuries and zero lives lost. MindForge allows you to establish a communication network with your field team and put just-in-time information and education in the palm of their hand. Connect with us to learn how to keep your team engaged, productive and safe this year.
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Member News
The Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. (MBA) presented its 2020 Safety Champion Award to Chris DiBon, General Superintendent, Mascaro Construction Company, LP. The award was presented by MSA – The Safety Company at the fourteenth annual Construction Industry Evening of Excellence on Thursday, February 25, 2021.
Safety Cabinet
The construction industry is raising awareness and encouraging open discussion about mental health and substance abuse to reduce suicide in the workforce.  The COVID-19 pandemic has added stress, anxiety, and fear to contractors’ already high risk of suicide.  We can all agree this is a scary subject and we need to address the public health crisis in our country.  But how do we heal our workforce?  Please use the following resources to help you spot warning signs, start the conversation, and provide support to those who need it – which can save lives. It takes construction professionals at all levels working together and with their risk partners to build a culture of caring and prevention.    
AGC’s Professional Mobile Crane Operations Program is designed to assist the construction community as a whole to prepare for the certification requirement to reflect the provisions in the new standards. This student guide is designed to help participants become a better crane operator by learning sage and efficient practices. Upon completion of the program participants will understand various operational and safety principles and practices that can be used every day. This program covers rules and regulations, site review and set-up, operations, conditions affecting operations, basic rigging and wire rope, maintenance and inspection, load charts, and crane types.