U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Requests Information on Table 1 of the Silica Standard for Construction

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting information and comment on Table 1 of the agency’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction. OSHA seeks information on additional engineering and work practice control methods to effectively limit exposure to silica for the equipment and tasks currently listed on Table 1. The agency is also requesting information about other construction equipment and tasks that generate silica that it should consider adding to Table 1, along with information about their associated engineering and work practice control methods.

In addition, OSHA is seeking comments about whether to revise paragraph (a)(3) of the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry to broaden the circumstances under which general industry and maritime employers would be permitted to comply with Table 1 of the silica standard for construction.

Information submitted will allow OSHA to consider new developments and enhanced control methods for equipment that generates exposures to silica, and provide additional data on exposures to silica from equipment and tasks using a variety of control methods under different workplace conditions. Expanding Table 1 to include additional engineering and work practice control methods, equipment, and tasks could provide employers with more flexibility and reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining protections for employees.

If information submitted in response to this request indicates that revisions to the silica standards are needed, the agency will then publish the proposed revisions in the Federal Register for public comment.

Comments must be submitted by October 14, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details.  

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

3M Rope Grab Recall

3M Fall Protection has determined that the 3M™ PROTECTA® Cobra Mobile/Manual Rope Grab AC202D is incorrectly stamped for use with 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter rope on the exterior body of the unit. This Cobra Rope Grab is certified for use ONLY with 5/8 inch diameter polyester or polypropylene rope. All marketing information and the Instructions for Use (IFU) for this rope grab correctly identify the size of rope to be used as 5/8 inch polyester/polypropylene rope.

June Meeting Follow Up

SAFER would like to thank both Peter Harrod, P.E. and Jeremy Souza from Code Red Consultants for their very informative briefing on NFPA 241 Implementation. They have kindly provided their briefing for SAFER members to review.

SAFER would also like to thank Capt. Andrew Went, Fire Prevention Division, City of Providence Fire Department for the information and support he provided on the City of Providence Fire Watch Permit (Hot Work) requirements.

We hope you have a safe summer and will see you in September.

The next meeting is Wednesday, June 5, 2019 8:00 AM-10:00 AM. It will be held in the Hall of Fame room, 2nd floor, New England Institute of Technology, 2490 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886.

From Bob Kunz


We have an exciting program planned for the June meeting, as follows:
• NFPA 241 – Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations
Presented by: Peter Harrod, Principle for Code Red.
Note: Refer to City of Providence Guide to Permitting and State of RI Building Code – Section 101.4.6 refers to International Fire Code 2009 – Chapter 14 section 1401.1 refers to NFPA 241.

• City of Providence Fire Watch Permit (Hot Work)
Presented by: Capt. Andrew Went, Fire Prevention Division, City of Providence Fire Department.

The coffee and calories are sponsored by E.W. Audet and Sons, Inc.

Hope to see you at the June meeting.

May Meeting Update

Attached is a copy of the May meeting slides.

The next meeting is Wednesday, May 1, 2019 from 8:00 – 10:00 AM. It will be held at the New England Institute of Technology 2490 Post Road, Warwick, RI.

Meeting agenda is:
• ANSI A92 standards are changing at the end of the year. The changes are sweeping. Join Lance Courtemanche, Terex AWP/Genie, Senior Territory Sales Manager, Northeastern U.S. Field Team to recharge your knowledge. Review the the following article from Genie- Recap of the Pending ANSI/CSA Standards – Everything is Changing.
• Ladder selection and substandard use continue to contribute to Falls in Construction. Werner Ladders will introduce new ladder styles to enhance safety and productivity.

Thank you goes out to the AGC of RI for sponsoring the coffee and calories.

Work Zone Safety

The 2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week was conducted April 8-12. This year’s theme was “Drive Like You Work Here“. Although the awareness event is over it is never too late to spread safety-related information regarding hazards to both workers and drivers in work zones.

Two links available with Work Zone safety information are:

Drivers who’ve experienced traffic delays in work zones can help themselves be safer and reduce traffic by practicing “Zipper Merging.”

What is a zipper merge?
When a lane is closed in a construction zone, a zipper merge occurs when motorists use both lanes of traffic until reaching the defined merge area, and then alternate in “zipper” fashion into the open lane.

Zipper merge vs. early merge
When most drivers see the first “lane closed ahead” sign in a work zone, they slow too quickly and move to the lane that will continue through the construction area. This driving behavior can lead to unexpected and dangerous lane switching, serious crashes and road rage.

Zipper merging, however, benefits individual drivers as well as the public at large. Research shows that these dangers decrease when motorists use both lanes until reaching the defined merge area and then alternate in “zipper” fashion into the open lane. Benefits


  • Reduces differences in speeds between two lanes
  • Reduces the overall length of traffic backup by as much as 40 percent
  • Reduces congestion on freeway interchanges
  • Creates a sense of fairness and equity that all lanes are moving at the same rate

So I’m supposed to merge late?

Yes! As you see the “lane closed ahead” sign and traffic backing up, stay in your current lane up to the point of merge. Then take turns with other drivers to safely and smoothly ease into the remaining lane. Don’t worry about being “Minnesota nice.” When traffic is heavy and slow, it is much safer for motorists to remain in their current lane until the point where traffic can orderly take turns merging.

When not to do the zipper merge

When traffic is moving at highway speeds and there are no backups, it makes sense to move sooner to the lane that will remain open through construction. The bottom line is to merge when it is safe to do so.


3M Recall Notice

There may be a defect in a dorsal d-ring utilized in 3M Fall Protection’s ExoFit NEX™ harnesses manufactured between January 2016 and December 2018. 3M Fall Protection urges all affected users to inspect the harnesses immediately. They should not be used until they pass inspection. Details about how to inspect the harnesses are described in the attached 3M’s Fall Protection Inspection Notice.

April Meeting

Follow-up information from the April meeting….
Team SAFER (Information from Justin Griffith),

As a follow up to Wednesday’s meeting, I have provided the following hyperlinks/attachments for your use:

– Drone memorandum – OSHA’s use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Inspections. Drone Memo – OSHA

– Toolbox talks, infographics, FACE reports, and other Fall Protection Stand-Down resources from CPWR-OSHA-NIOSH can be found on the
https://stopconstructionfalls.com/one-stop-stand-down-shop/ page.

– To order Hardhat Stickers and Hazard Alert cards, visit https://stopconstructionfalls.com/online-ordering-form/ page.

– For additional OSHA resources, including the Events page with information on contacting your Regional Stand-Down coordinator and the certificates page for after the Stand-Down, visit https://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/ page.

– For NIOSH videos and other campaign materials, visit https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/construction/stopfalls.html page.

– City of Providence Fire Department SAFE STATION – as discussed, a 24/7 addiction treatment service and support resource that is available to anyone regardless of residency, visit http://pvdsafestations.com/ .

– Dimeo Construction Company (Dimeo) will be hosting Erin McDonough on Thursday April 18th at 02:30 PM to train on overdose prevention, recognition, and response that can be geared toward targeted audiences including law enforcement and public safety professionals, primary care providers, behavioral healthcare providers, corrections, schools, and the general public. Ms. McDonough is the program director for the Naloxone and Overdose Prevention Education Program of Rhode Island (NOPE-RI). For additional information on NOPE-RI, visit https://www.rimrc.org/nope-ri. If interested in attending or additional information, please contact Bob Kunz at bkunz@dimeo.com. Dimeo’s Training Center located at 780 Allens Avenue in Providence.

Original Meeting Announcement:

Subject: SAFER Meeting
When: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 8:00 AM-10:00 AM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).
Where: New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) – 2490 Post Road, Warwick, RI Hall of Fame Room 2nd floor


This month we are going to take you up, up and away….. then below grade…..

The subjects are

  • Chester Humbert of Manafort-Precision will discuss the Use of Unmanned Aircraft System (“UAS” or “drones”) during OSHA inspection
  • Justin Griffith of Dimeo Construction will discuss Excavation and Trenching, including the OSHA NEP, Dig Safe
  • The group will discuss this month’s OSHA Challenge


Refer to OSHA UAS Memo May 18, 2018

Excavation and Trenching

“The fatality rate for excavation work is 112 percent higher than the rate for general construction, OSHA data shows. The agency lists “employee injury from collapse” as the primary hazard of excavation work and includes “no protective system” among the leading causes of worker injuries.  According to OSHA, 23 workers were killed in trench collapses in 2016, surpassing the combined total from 2014 and 2015. No matter the nature of the work or depth of the trench, excavations are unstable, experts note.” [credit: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/17490-trenching-and-excavation-safety ]

OSHA has developed the following resource page:  https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/solutions.html , which includes the updated National Emphasis Program CPL-02-00-161 .

The coffee and calories are sponsored by Sinclair Risk & Financial Mgt.

Please accept the emailed meeting announcement to RSVP.

March Meeting Announcement

The March meeting will be held at New England Institute for Technology 2490 Post Road, Warwick, RI on March 6, 2019 from 8-10 AM.

From Bob: Team SAFER,

Another month closer to Spring…..this month we will be learning about all things designed to protect your eyes, face and head. There will be some forward leaning equipment discussed.

In 2005, the BLS reported that eye injuries/illnesses resulting in days away from work accounted for 4.1% of the total non-fatal construction injuries/illnesses for that year. Since 2007, 1.4% of the injuries / illnesses resulting on days away from work on Dimeo construction projects have involved eyes. This appears to support our 2003 decision to require 100% eye protection on our construction projects. What is the history and policy of your company?

On 2/25/19, a subcontracted craft worker was struck on the side of his protected head by a metal brace that became detached from a wall panel during high winds. The worker was wearing a MSA hard hat. He reported a short period of “blacked out” and that his hard hat fell off during the incident. He was evaluated at an urgent care center and was diagnosed with a head contusion. Does your company have a 100% hard hat utilization policy? If the worker was wearing a Kask helmet would the severity of injury been less?

We would like to hear from you on this interesting topic – what have you done to mitigate eye, face and head injuries?

Here is the meeting line-up:

Eye and Face Protection
Protective Industrial Products
Carlos Mello

Head Protection
Jack Padden of Sales Solutions

The coffee and calories for this month’s meeting are provided courtesy of United Alliance Services Corp