At Donnelly Mechanical, we consider the safety of our employees to be top priority. Known as one of the safest commercial HVAC contractors in New York City, we’re extremely proud of our .91 EMR (Experience Modification Rate). Since our ultimate goal is zero accidents on the worksite, we’re able to achieve this by adhering to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) industry safety standards.
Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day. That being said, the “fatal four” leading causes of private sector working fatalities, particularly in the construction industry, are falls, electrocution, being struck by an object, and being caught in between two objects. Unfortunately, these accidents make up 59.9% of construction worker deaths. (OSHA)
With the correct safety rules and requirements in place, costly work-related injuries and occupational illnesses can be reduced or even eliminated. Our safety first, safety always mindset enable us to keep our employees protected by adhering to the following safety tips on construction sites or when performing preventative maintenance services.
· PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) should be worn at all times
Personal protective equipment, including safety glasses, gloves, safety-toed footwear, hard hats, and ear protection, should be worn at all times to prevent immediate and long-term damage. Serious head injuries can result from blows to the head or accidental head contact with electrical hazards if workers fail to wear protective head gear. Gloves should fit snugly and should be the right gloves for the right job.
· Ladder safety as a fall prevention measure
Based on OSHA estimates, “there are 24,882 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders used in construction.” To keep workers safe, ladders should be placed at a 4:1 climbing angle, ladders must extend at least 3 ft above the landing, and ladders should be inspected before use. Workers should climb facing the ladder and maintain 3 points of contact, workers should keep two feet on the same rung when working, workers should not reach across side rails, and when using A-frame ladders, workers should not stand higher than their belt buckle.
· Perform Lockout-Tagout when working on electricity
Lockout-Tagout refers to the procedures to safeguard employees from energization or a release of hazardous energy during the startup of equipment or maintenance activities. Employers must develop, implement, and enforce an energy control program and use lockout devices on equipment and tag out equipment in lieu of lockout devices.
· Personal fall arrest systems for unprotected sides and edges
HVAC technicians often have to work on rooftops and in compromised environments that can result in falls. To prevent these accidents, certain safety rules are required. Employees working on surfaces, 6 feet high or more, with unprotected sides or edges or leading edges that are under construction are required to wear personal fall arrest systems (body harness, anchorage, and connector), use the guardrail and safety net systems.
Apart from placing employees in immediate danger, failure to adhere to OSHA standards could also result in hefty fines. OSHA requires employees to be a “competent person” on a job site. An OSHA “competent person” is defined as “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them” [29 CFR 1926.32(f)].
There are many scenarios that could lead to an accident, from running up and down countless stairs to lifting heavy objects. Donnelly Mechanical cares about our employee safety. Our commitment to OSHA safety rules enables us to deliver high-quality service within a safe and healthful work environment.