Every May, construction sites across the U.S. take time to participate in the National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. This year, OSHA has postponed this important event due to COVID-19. While this nationwide event to raise awareness about fatal falls may not happen in 2020, the LHSFNA is still able to provide toolbox talks, health alerts and other publications about fall safety to LIUNA signatory contractors. To order, go to www.lhsfna.org and click on Publications.
Calls to Mental Health Hotline Spike Almost 900 Percent
For those looking to measure the mental health impact of coronavirus, one number to start with may be 891 percent. That’s the increase in the number of calls to the Disaster Distress Helpline compared to March of 2019. The federal crisis hotline is run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). For more information and a list of mental health resources, see our April 2020 article, “Coronavirus and Its Impact on Our Mental Health.”
Majority of Inspections in British Columbia in Construction
WorkSafeBC reported that out of more than 1,000 inspections initiated related to COVID-19, more than 700 of them were in the construction industry. This is due in part to construction operations being deemed essential in the province, which has kept those projects open while other industries were shut down. According to officials, inspections are focused on physical distancing, hygiene supplies, washrooms and handwashing stations.
California Requiring Valley Fever Training
The first state in the U.S. to mandate Valley fever training, California is requiring employers with outdoor workers in areas with known Valley fever to train employees in minimizing their risk. Construction workers who disturb soil are at particular risk for this potentially deadly disease. The new law goes into effect in May, and includes 11 counties in California’s Central Valley, Central Coast and other locations, though more may be added in the future based on illnesses in other parts of the state.