Aurora OSHA Construction News
May 14, 1997
1) Alexis Herman was sworn in on May
1, 1997 as the new Secretary of Labor. She will have
the task of selecting the new head of OSHA. Ms. Herman
was in charge of the Labor Department's Women's Bureau
during the Carter administration.
2) Masonry Silica News: On a recent inspection,
we were impressed that G. Porter Masonry had conducted
silica dust air sampling. Porter had conducted air sampling
for silica for portable saw cutting (sample results
were not yet available). Contractors who take action
to evaluate and control silica dust hazards will be
given more favorable treatment by OSHA. Under the silicosis
directive, a contractor who has an effective and ongoing
silicosis prevention program will receive a focused
In a second masonry contractor inspection,
silica dust air sampling showed that a mason cutting
blocks dry was 22 times over the Permissible Exposure
Limit (PEL). Since a half mask respirator is only approved
for up to 10 times the PEL, a full face respirator will
be required at this operation until the dust is controlled.
This site was outside with the wind at the block cutter's
back. A full written respiratory program, respirator
fit testing, dust control, and other measures will be
required of this contractor.
We are stressing the use of WATER whenever
possible. Wet cutting should keep respirable dust levels
very low. Dust control through wetting will save you
a lot of resources and money since you won't have to
do things such as respirator fit testing. It will also
save you from having to deal with getting employees
to be clean shaven for good respirator fit.
3) Highway Silica: The Aurora Office
has conducted two highway inspections for silica dust
in the last four weeks. Both sets of silica sample results
are pending. One contractor was over exposed for the
allowable noise level for jack hammering. The process
was only 5-10 minutes an hour for about six hours.
4) OSHA just won a major review commission
decision on multi-employer citation policy for construction.
The case was CH2M Hill out of Milwaukee. The commission
ruled that construction standards are applicable to
a construction manager with no trade employees on site.
This is because the company was involved in scheduling
work, coordinating construction activity, and preparing
contracts, including negotiating with trade contractors.
The Aurora office recently settled a $100,000+ citation
with affirmation of 15 out of 16 multi-employer citations
to a residential construction manager with no trade
employees on site.
5) We had a trench collapse in McHenry
County last month. The worker was in a nine-foot deep
trench without protection. Quick action of the Crystal
Lake Fire Department helped rescue the worker from potential
6) Our office investigated three wall
collapses in April. No one was hurt, but wall bracing
is continually a problem. Two contractors have had success
in our area using metal braces. These metal braces were
either rented or owned.
7) Aerial lift tip overs are becoming
more prevalent. OSHA investigated a fatality in August
1996 where the lift tipped over due to the outriggers
sinking in the mud. We are requiring that the general
contractors put a stable surface for the lift subcontractors
to enable them to perform their work. We would use section
5(a)(1) general duty clause for any potential citation.
Several contractors have provided a stable surface voluntarily,
and it just makes sense since a stable surface will
eventually be needed at the site for concrete pours.
8) Our office wishes to congratulate
Olsson Roofing Co., Inc. of Aurora. They are the only
Illinois company to gain Premier Roofing Status Level
III. This means that their names will be removed from
all programmed construction inspections in the
Federal enforcement offices.
9) Illinois had 38 construction fatalities
in 1996. This was the third worst year in the last ten.
The Aurora office had five construction deaths with
60% of them from steel erectors.
10) Scaffold training has been weak for
many companies since the new standard took effect in
Dec. 1996. The attached quiz and a summary of cited
standards should help.
11) There is a March 20, 1997 regional
memo on steel erection clarifying that metal decking
is covered under steel erection, but cutting skylight
openings and HVAC opening are not. Employers cutting
openings are to comply with Subpart M. Call Dr. Yen
at 312-886-3078 for any clarifications.
12) Construction illness and injury incident
rate for 1995 was below that of manufacturing for the
second year in a row. The average incident rate is 10.6,
which is down four years in a row from 1992's high of
13.1. This rate is for every 100 full-time workers.
The average lost work day injury rate is 4.9 per 100
13) Ladder way openings need to be protected
for access to the roof. Two fatalities in Chicago North
territory have illustrated the serious issue. The ironworkers,
sheet metal deckers, and roofers are the trades most
exposed to this.
14) Carpenters must use a slide guard
or fall arrest when sheathing a roof. Working on a 6:12
roof without this has resulted in citations.
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Comments on the newsletter should addressed
to John Newquist, OSHA 344 Smoke Tree, North Aurora,
IL 60542 or call (630) 896-8700.
Most Frequency Cited
Deficient accident prevention program
Deficient safety training
No guardrails on scaffolds
Inadequately bracing masonry walls
No competent person
No competent person for trenching
Inadequate cross bracing of a scaffold
General Duty Clause
No hard hats
John Newquist: Safety Specialist - Aurora
OSHA Office (630) 896-8700
Comments about most frequently cited
1) One problem that is occurring is the
program fails to account for previous accidents. After
any accident or near miss, a construction company should
review their safety program to see if their program
has a written rule to prevent further occurrence. One
contractor hit a power line with their equipment last
summer. Upon reinspection in April, no rules existed
even though their equipment was again close to power
2) Many site superintendents have safety
responsibility, but no training in fundamental safety
for construction sites. Basic hazard recognition for
electrical, trenching, and fall protection must be covered
as well as site specific issues that may arise. The
OSHA 10 hour course is a starting point for supervisors,
but the OSHA 30 hour is recommended if they have site
3) A Morgen scaffold and welded frame
scaffolds are the majority of the scaffolds cited for
guardrail deficiencies. Masons, plasterers, and carpenters
are trades found most in violation. Most companies found
are missing 50% of the required rails. Almost all did
not guard the ends of the scaffold.
4) Digging seven feet deep with vertical
walls is the common theme for contractors cited. Some
of these companies had the equipment to protect against
cave-ins, but the "competent person" did not know how
to use the aluminum shoring or where to place the ladder
so an employee is not exposed getting into the box.
5) Masonry Magazine has had several articles
on this issue. We saw two sites using two different
metal bracing systems and the walls withstood a 50-mph
wind. Three wall collapses in our territory in April
made this one of the worst months ever. A single wood
plank with a diagonal brace is not acceptable.
6) Competent person is being cited frequently
where unsafe equipment is plainly visible and the company
management allows it to be used with a serious defect.
This is cited quite frequently for not having a competent
person to determine unsafe conditions in manholes or
trenches connecting into live sewer mains.
7) A competent person in trenching must
know the difference between A, B, C, soil type and able
to conduct the visible and manual examinations. We have
seen a foreman take an 8-hour competent person course
in trenching and excavation and not remember these fundamentals.
8) A problem with interior cross bracing
for plastering contractor and masons who put a load
between two scaffold towers.
9) Cited for defective aerial lifts under
ANSI A92.5 & A92.6, unsafe cranes under ANSI B30.5,
and misuse of rough terrain forklifts under ANSI B56.6.
10) These are people near scaffolds or
trenching operations in particular.
Most Penalized Construction
Aurora Area Office
- Second Half of FY95
Inadequately bracing scaffolds
No fall protection on flat roofs
No guardrails on scaffolds
Inadequate wall bracing
Unsafe access to scaffold
No pins in scaffolds to prevent uplift
No gfci protection
Inadequate safety training
Minimum of three citations were issued.
Penalties reflect size, good faith, and history discounts.
Comments about the high penalty items.
1) A plastering contractor's biggest
problem. The use of a horizontal clamp on braces is
an easy solution.
2) Many of the flat roofers have had
problems lately. These are mainly the re-roofers on
existing commercial buildings. No flags are most common
cause for the inspection being initiated in the first
3) Probably the most cited willful of
late. Some companies have had long OSHA history and
are repeat offenders of this standard.
4) Usually where the guardrails are deficient,
the wall bracing is bad. Our office has brought Dr.
Yen from the region to give us assistance in the complex
cases. This is becoming a very common multi-employer
citation to the general contractor or construction manager.
5) This is a problem for walk-through
frame scaffolds. Company does not prohibit climbing
the frames to prevent falls.
6) We have inspected many contractors
for the first time violating this standard. Most have
been in business several years without any OSHA inspection.
Worst was a willful multi-employer citation where the
CM did not have anyone exposed, but was told the trench
was bad and unsafe.
7) Manufacturers are on record saying
they will not prevent impalement. There are metal-lined
caps and troughs available. Many contractors have gone
back to the old method of using wood. Plastic caps are
8) We inspected one scaffold collapse
in Oak Brook in March due to wind. Pins are required
when in windy condition, using forklifts to load material,
and using hoists.
9) Residential construction sites account
for most of these inspections. Several citations have
been issued to electrical contractors, general contractors
and construction managers.
10) see most frequently cited.
Frequently Cited Scaffold Standards
1/97 - 4/97
Rails installed before use
Ladder jack - no fall arrest
No 20 foot tie-ins
More than 1 inch space between planks
No fall arrest in aerial lift
No base plates
No guardrails - other scaffolds
used for footing
Comments about most cited standards
451(b)(1) - Full planking is required
on scaffolds one frame high. We have seen problems with
using outriggers and not planking section behind them.
Also, there is a problem not full planking access levels.
451(b)(1)(I) - This is cited for having
space between planks more than 1 inch. This is a falling
object issue. Planks should be 1 inch to frame upright
unless employers demonstrated infeasibleness per 451
(c)(2)(ii), then allowed 9.5 inches.
451(c)(1) - Five feet wide scaffold frames
must be secured if more than 20 feet high.
451(c)(2) - January 1997 change requires
base plate always. Scaffolds cannot have a leg on concrete
without a baseplate.
451(c)(2)(ii) - This is cited for using
brick, block under a scaffold frame leg.
451(e)(1) - Safe access is required for
one frame high scaffold.
451(f)(7) - Competent Person must supervise
the scaffold erection.
451(g)(1) - Most common scaffolds cited
is the welded frame. The trades found most in violation
are the plasterers and masons.
451(g)(1)(i) - Since residential construction
is under the Fall Local Emphasis Program. The most common
scaffold in violation at these sites is a Ladder jack.
This standard requires fall arrest.
451(g)(1)(vii) - This is cited sometimes
instead of the general provisions in 451(g)(1). Some
offices are using this for pump jacks, wood pole, system
scaffolds. In Illinois, offices usually cite the general
451(g)(4)(I) - This standard is similar
to 451(g)(1), but requires guardrails to be installed
by the erector before the scaffold is turned over to
452(c)(2) - This is cited for missing
several braces on a welded frame scaffold. Several manufacturers
have flexible bracing diagrams. The competent person
in charge of erecting the scaffold is responsible for
knowing what bracing can be removed safely.
453(b)(2)(v) - This is cited for extensible
boom aerial lifts when the user is not wearing fall
454(a) - This is cited for the user or
worker on the scaffold.
454(b) - This is cited for the erector
of the scaffold.
Welded Frame Scaffold Erector Quiz
1) The frame scaffold must be capable
of supporting _______ times the maximum intended load.
2) The space between the scaffold planks
must be no more than ____ inches.
3) The maximum distance permitted between
a plank and a frame upright is _____ inches.
4) Platforms used on outriggers brackets
attached to frame scaffolds must be at least _____ inches
5) The maximum intended load for a mason
frame scaffold is _____ lbs.
6) Plasterer operation can have the scaffold
_____ inches from the building frame.
7) Mason operations must have the scaffold
no more than ______ inches from the wall to the scaffold.
8) An uncleated scaffold plank must extend
over the end support a minimum of ____ inches.
9) Using a horizontal frame separation
distance of 7 feet. The maximum plank extension over
the end support shall be no more than _____ inches if
guardrails are not used to block access to the area.
10) On a 10-section wide frame scaffold,
the overlap for each plank on top of each other must
be _____ inches.
11) A scaffold five feet wide, 35 feet
in length, 30 feet high with frame spacing of 7 feet
must have horizontal securement every ____ foot and
a vertical tie-in every ____ feet.
12) A frame scaffold, three sections
high, using a cantilevered outrigger platform shall
use ______ to prevent tipping.
13) Scaffold legs must bear on ________
and this shall rest on either firm foundation or mudsills.
14) Scaffold platforms above ____ feet
must be provided with safe access.
15) When hook-on ladders are used, they
must be provided with a rest platform every ____ feet.
16) Integral prefabricated scaffold access
frames must have a rung length of at least ___ inches.
17) Integral prefabricated scaffold access
frames must have a vertical rung spacing no more than
18) Scaffolds shall be erected under
the supervision of a ______ person.
19) The scaffold distance between an
insulated 220 volt lines must be at least ____ feet.
20) When moving a frame scaffold under
a 7200-volt line the separation must be at least ___
21) Work shall be prohibited during high
winds. What MPH is high winds?
22) Scaffold platforms shall not deflect
______ of the span when fully loaded.
23) Guardrails are required on welded
frame scaffolds at _____ feet.
24) The height of the top rail shall
be from _____ inches to a maximum of ______ inches.
25) Top rail strength must be at least
______ pounds for welded frame scaffolds.
26) Midrails strength on welded frame
scaffolds must be _____ pounds.
27) Cross bracing is acceptable in place
of a Midrails when the "x" is between ______ inches
and ______ inches above the work surface.
28) Cross bracing is acceptable in place
of a top rail when the "x" is between ______ inches
and ______ inches above the work surface.
29) A scaffold five sections long, four
sections high needs how many interior cross braces to
maintain structural stability?
30) The purpose of using pins to lock
the scaffold vertically together is to prevent ______.
Name a scenario when this could occur.
31) What is the maximum intended load
of a 10-inch wide, 2 inch nominal thickness wood scaffold
plank platform? The scaffold has frames 7 feet apart
1) 4 451(a)(1)
2) 1 451(b)(1)(I)
3) 9.5 451(b)(1)(ii)
4) 18 451(b)(2)
5) This depends on the manufacturer,
some can allow 2500 lbs. for each frame up to three
frames. Most planks cannot approach half this weight
limitation. There is no OSHA standard for frame loading
capacity other than being able to hold 4 times the intended
6) 18 451(b)(3)(ii)
7) 14 451(b)(3)(I)
8) 6 451(b)(4)
9) 12 451(b)(5)(I)
10) 12 451(b)(7)
11) 20, 20 451(c)(1)(ii)
12) Use Ties, guys, braces, outriggers
or scaffold manufacturer's stabilizer legs or equivalent.
13) Base plates 451(c)(2)
14) 1 section high 451(e)(1)
15) 35 451(e)(2)(iii
16) 8 451(e)(6)(ii)
17) 16 3/4 451(e)(6)(vi)
18) competent 451(f)(7)
19) 3 451(f)(6)
20) 10 451(f)(6)
21) 30 This is not in the standard. National
weather service classifies high winds as 30 MPH gust
22) 1/60 451(f)(16)
23) 10 451(g)(1)
24) 36, 45 451(g)(4)(ii)
25) 200 451(g)(4)(vii)
26) 150 451(g)(4)(ix)
27) 20, 30 451(g)(4)(xv)
28) 38, 48 451(g)(4)(xv)
29) This depends on the manufacturer's
bracing diagrams. Some may permit 50% removal of interior
braces, but all will require bracing of the end tower
sections. This is the area where many competent persons
mess up. They do not know what is allowed by the manufacturer.
30) Uplift This can occur with a rough
terrain forklift grabbing scaffold. Wind can cause it.
Also, climbing a scaffold, and the use of a hoist can
cause it to lift up. 452(c)(3)
31) 175 pounds Approx. (0.83 foot wide)
x (7 feet long) x 25 lbs/sqft = 145 lbs. This is found
in appendix A.
in 1996 Illinois Construction Fatalities
SIC Inspections Fatalities Description
1521 26 2 General Contractors - Single
1522 39 1 General Contractors - Other Residential Building
1531 7 0 Operative Builders
1541 65 0 General Contractors - Industrial Buildings
1542 239 4 General Contractors - Commercial Buildings
1611 21 3 Highway Contractors
1622 26 1 Bridge Construction Contractors
1623 59 1 Water, Sewer, Underground Construction
1629 30 1 Other Heavy Construction
1711 42 1 Mechanical Contractors
1721 19 2 Painting Contractors
1731 31 3 Electrical Contractors
1741 101 1 Mason Contractors
1742 51 0 Plastering Contractors
1743 3 0 Terrazzo Contractors
1751 30 1 Carpentry Contractors
1761 114 5 Roofing and Siding Contractors
1771 11 1 Concrete Contractors
1791 32 4 Steel Erectors
1793 9 0 Glazing Contractors
1794 29 0 Site Clearing - Grading Contractors
1795 13 1 Demolition Contractors
1796 7 1 Elevator Contractors
1799 26 2 Special Trade Contractors
Construction Accident Causes
metal decking 3
sloped roofs 2
roof openings 2
fell from tree 1
step ladder 1
unknown ladder 1
frame scaffold 1
baker scaffold 1
two point suspended scaffold 1
I-beam (connector) 1
run over by truck in forward direction 1
run over by asphalt grinder in forward direction 1
run over by water truck in reverse 1
hit by vehicle traffic 1
tractor overturned 1
grave digging equipment overturned 1
crane boom dismantlement 1
grinding wheel expoded 1
aerial lift pinned employee in basket 1
hit by lift assembly cylinder on front end loader bucket
struck by material falling off pallet being lifted 1
collapsing roof during demolition 1
floor collapse during equipment move, pinned by equipment
crane hit power line 1
concrete pumper hit power line 1
employee hit power line 1
electrocuted by ungrounded elevator 1
chipping hammer hit live electrical in home 1
Confined Space 3
confined space sewer manhole 2
tank confined space 1
electric burns from 480 panel arc 1
gasoline used to clean tile glue ignited 1