Partnership Aims to Ensure No Workers Left in the Dust on Health and Safety Training

July 31, 2014

By
OSHA Alliance

OSHA Alliance aims to prevent overexposure to silica by developing educational resources

When it comes to making the construction industry safer, it takes a village. As an industry leader, we’re doing our part by proactively participating in efforts to educate workers about current health and safety standards.

At Brasfield & Gorrie, we dedicate significant time and resources to providing the highest caliber of safety and health training to our employees. But for smaller companies and subcontractors, bringing this level of training to employees can be a challenge. When workers fail to follow proper health and safety training, the whole industry suffers. These workers put themselves and their colleagues at risk when they show up to work without proper training on occupational health and safety hazards, such as crystalline silica dust.

With this issue in mind, Brasfield & Gorrie recently signed into an OSHA Alliance designed to reduce workers’ exposure to silica by developing training materials aimed at closing the gap in training. This Alliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Occupational Safety and Health Division, and other organizations in Georgia aims to develop compliance assistance tools and training resources on the hazard of silica dust.

As the only general contractor in the Alliance, Brasfield & Gorrie is leading the way to ensure that construction workers are aware of the hazards of crystalline silica, which is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals. Respirable silica dust particles are extremely small and are created during work operations involving stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, mortar and industrial sand. Exposure to respirable silica dust can occur when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling and crushing these materials—actions that are common in construction operations.

The Alliance is developing educational materials specifically for small companies and subcontractors with 20 or fewer employees. These companies make up the majority of the construction industry and often face greater time and budget constraints in educating employees.

“Developing easy-to-digest training resources will help ensure that all workers have access to education on health and safety standards, making our industry safer,” said Brasfield & Gorrie Regional Safety Director Lisa Capicik. “As a leader in our industry, we have a responsibility to bring the highest level of safety and health knowledge to the construction industry as a whole and ensure that workers have the best possible training.”

As part of its efforts to develop training resources, the OSHA Alliance will conduct research with industry partners.

For more information, view details on the dangers of crystalline silica dust and learn more about Brasfield & Gorrie’s commitment to safety.