Encouraging the Use of PPE

Worksites often have many hazards. Occasionally, some hazards can be eliminated. And there are ways to reduce hazards. But it is difficult – impossible, even – to eliminate all hazards. Which is why it is so important to encourage the use of PPE. Personal protective equipment provides a last line of defense against workplace hazards.

Have a plan

Companies that wish to create a culture of safety should have a written safety plan that covers PPE use. They should also have a plan that deals with failures to wear PPE. The consequences for first time or infrequent failure to wear PPE could be as simple as a verbal reminder. And having workers remind each other to wear their protective equipment is effective. Real discipline should be a last resort.

Management buy in

It is very important for the ownership and management of a company to buy in to the safety plan. A supervisor making a quick inspection of a job site where hardhats and safety glasses are required should wear the PPE. If they don’t, it can give other employees permission to be careless with PPE use.

Educate and Communicate

Companies need to educate employees on the hazards at worksites. And they should explain how PPE can protect them and offer training on the proper use of protective equipment. The company’s safety and disciplinary plan should be communicated clearly to employees. Post signs at worksites that communicate what types of protective equipment are required.

Listen to Employees

It is also a great idea to listen to workers’ opinions on specific types or brands of protective equipment that they like. If they feel it’s more comfortable or effective, they are more likely to use it.

Consistency

Consistency from the ownership of the company on down with wearing PPE and communicating its importance and the policies surround the use of protective equipment help create a culture of safety where failures to wear PPE are few and far between.

For more information:

10 Tips for Encouraging PPE Compliance

Encouraging Employee Compliance with Personal Protective Equipment

5 Ways to Get Workers to Use Personal Protective Equipment

5 Tips to Get Employees to Wear Personal Protective Equipment

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Hispanic Labor in the Construction Industry

National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States begins on September 15th, and occurs at the same time Mexico, Central America, and Chile celebrate their independence from Spain. This is a month-long celebration of Hispanic contributions to the history and culture of the U.S. It offers us an opportunity to look at Hispanic contributions to the construction industry and some ways to better support Hispanic workers.

Hispanic workers are very important to the U.S. construction industry. In 2021, they made up more than 30 percent of the labor force. This is nearly double from 20 years ago: in 2001, about 16 percent of construction workers were Hispanic.

Yet Hispanics account for less than 20 percent of the U.S. population. So they are overrepresented in construction work. This is incredibly important, as there is a large labor shortage in the United States’ construction industry.

The numbers are even more clear-cut in Southwestern states. In Texas, California, and Arizona, for example, Hispanics are 61 percent, 55 percent, and 49 percent of the construction workforce, respectively.

The labor provided by Hispanic workers greatly contributes to the success of the construction industry. It is important for construction firms to help Hispanic workers feel less isolated from coworkers who don’t speak Spanish. Construction Executive, a magazine that covers the construction industry, has three suggestions to improve the work-life of Hispanic laborers: increasing Spanish language skills and signage across all levels of the industry; educating the public about career opportunities in construction and hiring a more diverse set of workers; hiring Hispanics from underserved communities and giving them the opportunity to reach more senior positions, where diversity is lacking.

Making these changes would recognize Hispanic contributions to the construction industry and help build a stronger, more diverse workforce.

See also:

Women in Construction 

Sources:

National Hispanic Heritage Month

One in Three Workers in Construction Is Hispanic

Construction Labor Shortages

Construction Workforce in the Southwest

Support for Hispanic Workers

COPD and Asbestos Exposure

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that causes reduced airflow in the lungs. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Some common symptoms are coughing, increased mucus, and shortness of breath. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 16 million Americans suffer from COPD. It is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Fortunately, COPD is treatable, though not curable.

The main cause of COPD is cigarette smoke. But environmental toxins, including asbestos, can cause COPD, too. There is some debate over whether asbestos directly causes COPD. Several studies have linked asbestos exposure to the development of this chronic disease of the lungs, though. Inhaling asbestos can result in lung diseases that make people more susceptible to COPD. For example, people who have asbestosis or mesothelioma, two diseases caused by the inhalation of asbestos, can develop COPD.

The health risks of asbestos exposure are an important part of asbestos training. Asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma are all covered in META's asbestos courses. As well as the increased risks posed by the combination of smoking cigarettes and exposure to asbestos fibers. But the relationship between asbestos exposure and the risk of developing COPD is worth addressing more frequently, especially considering how many people in the U.S. suffer from COPD. 

For more information on COPD and asbestos exposure, visit:

Asbestos.com

Mesothelioma.net

ASTM Johnson/Rook Asbestos Conference

There is another asbestos conference happening this summer! The ASTM Johnson/Rook Conference on Asbestos will be held July 25, 2022 through July 29, 2022. The conference is organized by ASTM Committee D22 on Air Quality, and will be held in  South Burlington, VT. The conference will focus on many aspects of asbestos including but not limited to: exposure, health risks, medical research, regulations, the environment, legal aspects, mineralogy & nomenclature, analytical quality assurance, international & national analytic methods, naturally occurring asbestos, and more.

Since 1986, the Johnson Conferences have served as forums for the discussion of asbestos issues. Held in the beautiful summers of northern Vermont, the Johnson Conference is being renamed the “Johnson/Rook Conference” in honor of Dr. Harry S. Rook, chair of the first eight Johnson Conferences.

The ASTM John/Rook Conference on Asbestos is recommended for anyone who works with asbestos and wants to keep up to date with the latest on asbestos to  attend. This includes federal, state & local government officials, environmentalists, consultants, inspectors, management planners, supervisors, industrial hygienists and so on . 

The conference is in-person only with no remote access available. If you would like to attend you will have to be there. Since the conference was delayed from occurring at its original date, the full agenda of the conference is still being worked on. It will be out soon!. More information will be posted on ASTM’s website

Registration will open 10 weeks before the conference begins. Additional information about the conference is available from Conference Co-Chairs Jim Millette and Jim Webber. Contact them at millette1951@gmail.com and jswebberasbestos@gmaill.com.

Review Asbestos Facts

  1. There are six types of asbestos
    • Chrysotile, Amosite, Tremolite, Actinolite, Crocidolite and Anthophyllite.
  2. The first case of asbestosis was reported in 1924
    • It was reported in the 1924 British Medical Journal.
  3. Asbestos was first discovered in 1876
    • Asbestos was originally found in Thetford Township in Quebec, Canada.
  4. The UK and Australia have the highest mesothelioma rates in the world
    • In 2017, there were 2,523 deaths from mesothelioma in the UK. This is attributed to the heavy use of “brown asbestos” or Amosite.
  5. NOA means “Naturally Occurring Asbestos”
    • NOA is only a problem if it is disturbed.
  6. Smoking can worsen the effects of asbestos on the lungs
    • Smokers who are exposed to asbestos are 50 to 84 times more likely to develop asbestos-related cancer.
  7. 8% to 13% of asbestos workers end up with mesothelioma
    • These include but are not limited to shipyard workers, construction workers and more.
  8. One time exposure to asbestos can cause diseases
    • One time exposure is generally not a great risk unless in extreme circumstances.
  9. 95% of the asbestos used around the world is Chrysotile
    • Chrysotile is also known as “white asbestos”.
  10. Asbestos can cause both cancerous and non-cancerous diseases.
    • Mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural disease, etc.

For more asbestos facts, please review our previous blog post here or visit the OSHA website.

How to Buy Our Self-Paced Online Courses

Last year, META made the leap into the world of online training with our self-paced online courses. We have all of the asbestos refresher courses up for sale on our website, including Asbestos Inspector Refresher, Asbestos Management Planner Refresher, Asbestos Worker Refresher, Asbestos Supervisor Refresher and Asbestos Project Designer Refresher. We also offer two unaccredited courses, the 2-Hour Asbestos Awareness Course and the LEA Designated Person course. 

Since offering all of our self-paced courses online, we have received questions on how to best navigate purchasing them. To learn how to best purchase our courses, keep reading.

1. Finding the right course 

To begin, you need to go to our website and go to “Self-Paced Online Courses”. There you will see a list of available courses & the option to add state certificates. Select the appropriate course for you, then select the appropriate amount of courses. Once you have done that, hit “Register”. If you need more than one state certificate you will need to move onto step two. If you need  a single state certificate then you will fill out your billing and credit card information and click “Place Order”. 

2. State Certificates 

Each class comes with one guaranteed state certificate. If you are in need of more than one state certificate, then you need to add extra certificates into your shopping cart. To do this, you need to go back to “Self-Paced Online Courses” and select “Additional State Certificates”. Select the correct number of certificates needed, for example if you need 3 state certificates, you just need to add two additional state certificates. Once that is complete then you can continue your checkout process. Make sure to read the Disclaimer on the Shop Self-Paced Online Courses page carefully as many states do not accept online course certificates.

3. Confirmation Email & Registration 

Once you have everything completed and have paid for your courses and state certificates, you should receive a confirmation email within a few minutes. Then within 24 hours, you will receive an email from META with your log in credentials  in order to get your online course started.
Once all of those steps are completed, you should be able to complete your online course easily with META. To sign-up today visit our website or call us at 785-842-6382.