Qatar: Take Urgent Action to Protect Construction Workers

Qatar: Take Urgent Action to Protect Construction Workers

Authorities also should investigate the causes of migrant worker deaths, regularly make public data on such deaths, and use the information to devise appropriate public health policies, Human Rights Watch said. Qatari public health officials have not responded to requests for information about the overall number and causes of deaths of migrant workers since 2012.
However, these creditable requirements only apply to just over 12,000 workers who are building stadiums for the World Cup – about 1.5 percent of Qatar’s construction workforce – and take no account of the effect of sunlight, which significantly increases the risk of heat stress.
Out of a total of ten worker deaths on World Cup projects between October 2015 and July 2017, the Supreme Committee classified eight deaths as “non-work-related.” It has listed seven of these deaths as resulting from “cardiac arrest” and “acute respiratory failure,” terms that obscure the underlying cause of deaths and make it impossible to determine whether they may be related to working conditions, such as heat stress.
In addition, these requirements apply only to workers involved in World Cup projects, representing around 1.5 percent of the total number of migrant construction workers in Qatar.
They did not provide information on the total number of migrant worker deaths in 2012 or since, or information on the causes of those deaths.

Avoiding the big pinch

Avoiding the big pinch

Bolting tasks should be fairly benign but they are not. One stat says about 50% of construction injuries are to hands and fingers.
This first one, from UK based HTL Group, comes in a line of tools called Hands-Free Bolting. The company says the product range can help prevent common injuries when using bolting equipment in an array of industry sectors.
Other tools in the Hands-Free line include a Back-Up Nut, Safety Valve, Tool Handle, and safety kits.
The second pinch-avoiding product comes in two RSL torque wrenches from Hydratight.
The tool houses three control buttons.
Should the operator release his or her hands, the torque wrench and hydraulic pump immediately cease to operate. Typically, one technician operates the torque wrench and another controls the hydraulic pump.

Loss control rep visits cut lost-time injuries: Study

Loss control rep visits cut lost-time injuries: Study

Visits by insurance loss prevention representatives to construction job sites can lead to fewer workplace injuries, according to a study by a Center for Construction Research and Training supported research team at the University of Minnesota released Wednesday.
The study looked at workers compensation claims and examined injuries to employees of 1,360 construction policyholders who obtained workers comp from a self-insured workers comp fund.
There was a significant reduction in risk of lost-time injury after a single contact from a loss prevention representative, the study found. One contact was associated with a 27% reduction of risk, two contacts with a 41% reduction of risk, and three or more contacts with a 28% reduction of risk, according to the study.
The study also found that these visits are often low cost and that the reduction in lost-time injuries reduced workers comp costs for policyholders and insurance companies.

Construction job sites: the silent killer of immigrant workers

Construction job sites: the silent killer of immigrant workers

The New York City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve a safety bill that establishes safety protocols as a way to prevent construction worker deaths, following eight months of intensive review by lawmakers, day laborers, unions, real estate developers, and contractors.
The vote came nearly one week after two construction workers fell to their deaths hours apart in separate accidents.
That bill, Intro 1447-C, would establish safety training requirements for workers at construction sites. The legislation would require construction workers to receive at least 40 hours of safety training as specified by the Department of Buildings; allow employees to continue working while they complete the training; and develop a program that grants equal access to training for all workers, including day laborers and workers employed by certain small business contractors.
There have been seven construction workers deaths in New York City so far this year, according to the NYC Buildings Department.
Most recently, an AFL-CIO report from April, which surveyed 2015 BLS data across all industries, found that the “Latino fatality rate was 4.0 per 100,000 workers, 18 percent higher than the national average.” Among those Latinos who died, a full 67 percent were immigrant workers.
“The reality, however, is that a lot of workers start working on the sites without the training and it isn’t until weeks, maybe months after working that they look for a training and often they don’t find a training,” Castro said.
How can we ensure that everyone — unions to nonunions, documented and undocumented — are protected?

Marijuana legalisation: Construction industry worried

Marijuana legalisation: Construction industry worried

The province introduced plans and rules regarding the sale and distribution for recreational marijuana use in September including prohibition on use in public spaces and the workplace.
Quoted by the CBC at a Newfoundland and Labrador construction industry conference this year, Dan Demers, who works at CannAmm Occupational Testing Services said, “Marijuana and dangerous activities, safety-sensitive duties, can’t mix”.
This is somebody using a legal substance that they don’t have to tell us they’re on.”.
He adds, ““The general public is at a risk because our sites are dangerous and we are working in the middle of high population areas. We don’t want people controlling heavy machinery who are impaired”.
In Canada the Toronto Transit Commission obtained a court ruling overturning the workers union objections and instituted random drug and alcohol testing.