www.agc.org • December 2018  

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MSA - The Safety Company
On the Inside
Rudy Rack
McGriff, Seibels & Williams
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)
Top News
Please join us in Miami, Florida for the AGC Safety & Health Conference. You will get to participate in the development of regulatory and legislative activity on both the national and local levels, assist in the development and creation of new safety training programs and products, and hear the latest initiatives from OSHA and other industry experts. Registration is now open.

If you are interested in sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities, please contact Samantha Hamel at (703) 837-5345 or samantha.hamel@agc.org. All sponsorships include post-event attendee list and recognition as a sponsor with a company logo in the meeting literature, pre/post marketing materials, the mobile app and on the website. Learn more.

OSHA has awarded $9.3 million in one-year federal safety and health training grants to 74 nonprofit organizations nationwide, including AGC of America. The association, granted approximately $150,000, proposes to provide 7.5 hours of fall prevention in construction training to 450 construction workers. Training will be offered in English and Spanish.

The following chapters have been selected as training locations for 2019:
AGC of California (March 14 and 15, 2019) Construction Employers Association (May 1, 2019)
Oregon-Columbia Chapter (March 11 and 12, 2019) AGC of Ohio (May 2, 2019)
TEXO (March 4, 2019) General Building Contractors Association (May 16 and 17, 2019)
Kansas City Chapter - AGC (March 5 and 6, 2019) Carolinas AGC (September 17 and 18, 2019)

photo credit: WooGraphics/stock.adobe.com
The National AGC Safety Awards (NASA) program has been an ongoing effort since 1991, offering AGC members the opportunity to evaluate their safety record and compare it with other AGC members according to member size and construction type. The NASA program also provides a great opportunity to recognize, at a national level, members who have excellent safety records. Contact your local chapter for details.
photo credit: F8studio/stock.adobe.com
American Arbitration Association
January 28-30, 2019
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point
Bonita Springs, Florida
Click here for more information.
February 11-13, 2019
Omaha, Nebraska
Registration Fee: $995
The AGC Safety Management Training Course (SMTC) provides attendees three days of training on the basic skills needed to manage a company safety program in the construction industry. Held just a few times per year at select locations around the country, the SMTC program builds on Focus Four training and prepares attendees to manage key safety issues on the jobsite and provides techniques for delivering basic safety training to field personnel. Participants will receive intensive instruction and training that will allow them to return to their firms with readily applicable new skills to positively impact their company’s safety and health program.
Hub International
Best Practices

Boom lifts have been a popular type of equipment on construction sites for years. The lift’s versatility makes it a perfect choice for tasks that need to be completed at a significant height. However, operators need specialized training to use this type of aerial lift. To keep a work site safe, boom lift operators must be certified by a trusted source. 

To understand why boom lift certification is so important, it helps to learn the basics of how this equipment works. Also known as cherry pickers, boom lifts are comprised of a wheeled base, a hydraulic arm, and a basket at the top. On some boom lifts, the arm can bend or extend. Workers standing in the basket can use the controls to move the arm. Once in the correct position, they can complete their work while in the basket.

Boom lifts are useful for a variety of applications. You’ll often see utility workers using them on construction sites. Boom lifts can be used for painting, for making repairs on another large machine or for renovating the exterior of a building. They are also used as camera platforms for filming, and firefighters sometimes use them in emergencies. The name "cherry picker" comes from one of the original uses for the boom lift, which was harvesting fruit in orchards.

Because the wheeled base is heavy, boom lifts keep workers stable as it lifts them upwards. However, there are some safety risks. Workers are up high, and they are sometimes extended out from the base at an angle. Here are four key safety risks when using a boom lift:

Falls: The most dangerous threat when using a boom lift is falling. Workers must move carefully when in the basket and move the arm at a slow, cautious pace. To help prevent falls, workers should always wear a safety harness that connects them to the basket. Railings around the basket can also help workers stay safe.

Tipping: Workers can extend the arm of a boom lift up and out from the wheeled base. This creates a tipping hazard if the arm is extended past a safe angle. Also, wind gusts can push the boom lift over. Boom lift operators must understand that the lift becomes less stable the more they extend the arm. It’s important to be aware of weather conditions, the total weight in the basket, and other factors that may increase the risk of tipping.

Collisions: The operator can move both the base and the arm of the boom lift. This movement increases the risk for collisions both on the ground and in the air. Operators must be aware of their surroundings to avoid aerial and ground-level obstacles.

Electricity: Boom lifts are often used for aerial electrical work. While the lift makes it easier to complete this work, there is an increased risk of electric shock. The basket is usually made of metal, which can transfer electricity to workers if you and your crew don’t take proper precautions.

Due to the safety risks of using a boom lift, all operators must be trained and certified. Training for this type of machinery consists of several parts, such as instruction on how to use the controls. Workers learn about safety risks and how to avoid them. Training also covers how maximum load capacity works and explains how to perform regular inspections.

Workers may have to be retrained periodically, especially if they are required to use a new type of aerial lift. Most workplaces also require retraining if workplace hazards are discovered or after an accident occurs.

Workers must complete a certification process to operate a boom lift. In fact, it is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Violation of this requirement can result in fines for the employer.

Employers may require proof of certification upon hiring. In other cases, employers may pay for their workers to complete the training and certification process. Workers who have completed OSHA-approved training receive a Certified Operator card.

While boom lifts pose some risks, operators can use them safely with the right training, certification and workplace safety precautions. 

Jim Arabia is a marketing and branding executive with over 20 years of experience leading business with growth initiatives. In his current role as vice president of marketing at BigRentz, Arabia leads market positioning strategies and creates programs to support the company's strategic vision.

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