Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: May 2014

Using Fall Protection Helps Save Lives

Twenty-five-year-old construction worker Luis Gilberto Tenezaca Palaguache was attaching new shingles on the roof of a house in New Bedford, Massachusetts. As he turned to yell to his co-worker 30 feet below, he lost his balance and fell off the roof, hitting the concrete driveway. Unfortunately, the employer had not provided fall protection to prevent Palaguache from falling. Palaguache died from his injuries, and his family is left with memories of a man whose life was just beginning.

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AFCI Circuit Breaker Usage is Up. Residential Electrical Fires are Down

Residential electrical fires dropped nearly 20 percent over the seven-year span of 2002 to 2009, according to a 2012 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report. Instituted in the 1999 National Electrical Code® (NEC), at first, only bedroom circuits required arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) circuit breakers. Since then, the NEC has continued to expand for greater protection throughout the home, and the incidence of fires involving electrical distribution and lighting equipment has declined as well. Unlike a standard circuit breaker, AFCI circuit breakers identify arcs or sparking in wiring and quickly de-energize a system to prevent a fire. As contractors, no one better understands the dangers of electricity and can appreciate the importance of making our homes safer.

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What OSHA Has in Store for the Construction Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been focused on enforcement, as have other federal workplace agencies. OSHA forecasts that it will inspect almost 38,000 workplaces in 2014. OSHA’s plans for the construction industry include these compliance initiatives.

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IEC Keeps Safety at the Forefront

Safety is an easy topic to talk about and set as a top priority. However, it’s the times when an employee is on the job and in the heat of the moment that they must draw upon their previous training to ensure safe work practices. For this reason, we can never do too much promotion about workplace safety.

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Take Action

"Inside the Beltway." "Politics as usual." These are phrases that quickly turn off any Texan, myself included. When you look at the political climate in Washington, D.C. today, it is so easy to get discouraged. Congress has been halted to nearly a stalemate, and many of the federal agencies are increasing oversight on our companies.

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