Weekly Poll (62)


Scientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have recently invented a clear fireproof coating designed to protect wood surfaces and materials. Once licensed, do you think this coating will become widely used in timber buildings?


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently released a report on the commercial availability and current uses of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances found in various paints, coatings and varnishes, recommending further work is needed to understand the health and environmental risks. Do you believe enough is being done to better protect painters from these substances?


An unfinished apartment complex in Oklahoma City was recently destroyed after its roof caught fire. Reports indicate that the roof’s Thermoplastic Polyolefin material, which is resistant to water, contributed to the severity of the blaze. Do you think these types of materials should be reviewed for better fire protection?


A new initiative from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration prioritizes heat-related interventions on days when the heat index exceeds 80 F. Do you believe this threshold temperature is low enough?


In response to the increase in construction-related fatalities, more frequent inspections in New York City resulted in over 3,600 violations from June to October. Do you believe increased inspections are enough to police and prevent construction accidents?


With fall protection violations making the list of most frequently cited standards for the past decade, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be making random weekend safety inspections of construction sites in Colorado. Do you believe these surprise inspection measures should be adopted nationwide?


As France continues to work toward the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral, it has been reported that the restoration cannot begin until the melted scaffolding is dismantled piece-by-piece to avoid a collapse that would put other parts of the building in jeopardy. Despite this setback, along with delays due to COVID-19, President Emmanuel Macron wants the restoration of Notre Dame to be completed in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Do you believe this is a viable timeline?


A study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine associated paint-stripping chemical methylene chloride to more deaths than what has previously been acknowledged by the Environmental Protection Agency. With this information in mind, do you feel the chemical should have been fully banned by the Agency back in June 2020?


The National Association of Home Builders, along with industry partners, hosted a COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction last month. Do you think the industry could use more like-events to encourage construction professionals to get vaccinated?


What factor do you think most contributed to Fall Protection—General Requirements being the number one most frequently cited standards in the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s fiscal year 2020 report:


In late August, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health—part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—released guidance on counterfeit respirators. Do you believe the guidance has had a positive impact on how employers can keep their employees safe?


Last month, a gas explosion in Northwest Baltimore killed two people and seriously injured at least seven others. While the cause is still unknown, reports have been documenting the city’s aging gas infrastructure, which was installed in the 1960s. Do you think that's the culprit?


India-based multi-disciplinary architectural practice Studio Symbiosis recently revealed designs for Aura air-purifying towers, envisioned to help Delhi, India, reduce increasing levels of air pollution. Do you think the technology would be useful in other cities across the globe?


On Nov. 18, a 510-foot-long suspension bridge collapsed in southwest France, resulting in two fatalities and several injuries. Although a cause has yet to be determined, a concern raised as a result has been whether structure’s weight limits were being exceeded. Should the county consider upgrading its infrastructure or increase its precautionary warnings to avoid future incidents?


In early November, a sinkhole roughly 100 feet long and 20 feet deep opened in Downtown Pittsburgh, causing a Port Authority G31 bus to partially sink with it. Do you think the incident is a wake-up call to upgrade Pennsylvania’s infrastructure?


Last month, a 380,000-gallon oil leak was reported near Edinburgh, North Dakota. At first, the spill was reported to affect 22,500 square feet of land, but later that number was reported to actually be 10 times that amount, totaling roughly 209,100 square feet. Do you think the industry needs a better system when estimating environmental damages during initial response times?


A 10-page update released by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board showed that the reason behind the Philadelphia Energy Solutions explosions that occurred in June could be pointed to a degraded piece of metal piping. Given that the segment of piping had high nickel and copper content, which is susceptible to corrosion caused by the hydrofluoric acid in the process fluid, do you believe this incident could have been avoided?


In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new lead standards to protect children, lowering dust-lead hazards from 40 micrograms of lead per square foot to 10 micrograms on floors and 250 micrograms to 100 micrograms on windowsills. In addition to the grant program passed in March, do you believe the EPA’s efforts will prove effective?


Recently, Louisiana’s Sunshine Bridge was struck a second time since its last incident in October. According to reports, Dank Silver (the tanker ship involved) damaged the fender system that serves to protect the bridge. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett noted that the structures themselves are designed to handle this kind of damage, however, with reoccurring instances and increased water traffic, do you think fenders are the best option for bridge protection?


With responses due for the “Building a Safer Future” by July 31—a fourth consultation on improving fire and structural safety for high-rise housing in the United Kingdom involving various revisions including: increased residential building height; revised concept of duty holders; and stronger voices for residents (to name a few)—do you think the new Implementation Plan will help to prevent future tragedies like the Grenfell Tower fire?


A bill was filed by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, after a Florida county’s Bee Ridge treatment facility witnessed a pipe burst, releasing an estimated 900,000 gallons of wastewater, some of which flowed into a stormwater system and out into Sarasota Bay. The proposal suggests that if another sewage spill were to occur, $1 would be fined for every gallon lost. Do you think this legislation will encourage more improvements in wastewater infrastructure?


In April, a stress corrosion crack was to blame for a gas pipeline explosion that occurred just north of Mexico, Missouri. Reports indicate that the pipeline was previously tested in 2015, involving a magnetic field test. However, when a hydrotest was taken of the pipe following the incident, the test failed four times prior to its success. Do you believe pipeline inspections should be using hydro-technology over magnetic methods?


According to a recent report, by percentage, New York City’s fatal falls more than doubled the national number. Throughout the United States, 17 percent of worker deaths were caused by fatal falls, whereas fall events were behind 36 percent of work deaths in NYC. Are you surprised by these numbers?


Earlier this month, a judge stopped the release of records related to the Florida International University bridge collapse. Do you think this was the best choice to protect the investigation?


The CDC recently found that some of the heat index guidance given by the OSHA might not be sufficient. Do you think your industry takes proper precautions when dealing with heat safety?


A recent jobsite accident in a San Francisco transit tunnel has spurred promises from the San Francisco MTA to better vet general contractors. Should letting agencies investigate bidders' safety records during the contract process?


Officials from chemical company Arkema were recently indicted over explosions that occurred at a Texas plant during Hurricane Harvey last year. Should the company face charges over an incident brought on by such extreme conditions?


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued a new bulletin regarding hearing loss brought on by solvent exposure. Is the painting industry properly educated on ototoxicity?


In January, USA Today released a list of the country’s most dangerous jobs, with painting in construction and maintenance taking 24th place (out of 25) based on data related to injuries and deaths. Do you think this is an accurate depiction of the danger of professional painting?


The retaliation portion of OSHA's Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses puts another layer of enforcement on Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which prohibits any person from discharging or discriminating against an employee who reports a fatality, injury or illness. Do you think this is necessary?


OSHA recently released its list of the top 10 violations cited in the past fiscal year, with fall protection again topping the list. Does the industrial painting industry do enough to ensure safety from falls on jobsites?


Last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a controversial bill on worker safety, effectively mandating that 180,000 city construction workers need 40-55 hours of safety training before December 2018. Do you agree that this extra training is needed?


OSHA recently began enforcement of its new silica standard in the construction industry. Has your company made adjustments to comply with the new rule?


Specialty chemicals firm Arkema is facing a criminal investigation by the Harris County District Attorney, in addition to a number of lawsuits from neighbors and first responders in Crosby, Texas, where one of its facilities was the location of a number of explosions triggered in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in August. Do you think the company should be held liable for what happened in the wake of the hurricane?


A Massachusetts painter was recently killed when his scissor lift came into contact with power lines. Have you or a member of your crew ever had a close call around power lines?


OSHA’s recent “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” rule requires employers to submit detailed injury and illness logs to the Agency and some of this information will be made public. Is this regulation a good or bad idea?


Last month, a painter fell to his death on a water tower job, working for a firm with numerous safety violations and falls in its history. What more can be done to prevent such tragedies?


When a safety inspector finds a potentially unsafe condition on a jobsite and notifies supervisors who then fail to warn workers of the danger, he or she should:


After being found guilty in connection with the death of a 22-year-old worker on a New York City construction site, a general contractor was handed a sentence requiring it to fund and take part in a public service announcement regarding construction site safety. Was this sentence fair?


As a coatings professional, when you tackle “small” painting jobs around the house, do you still observe the same kinds of safety precautions you do on the job?


Do you think the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will implement its long-awaited rule on silica exposure this year?


A new system allows workers to anonymously text information and photos about site hazards and near misses to employers. Good idea or bad idea?


After numerous warnings, federal OSHA has rejected Arizona’s residential fall-protection guidelines as too lenient. Should states be allowed to craft standards that are looser than federal OSHA’s?


What is the best way for employers to ensure that employees who are provided fall protection actually wear it?


About how often do you see full compliance with fall protection on a project?


In general, how often do you see workers using appropriate fall protection measures and equipment in roofing work?


How much training do you/your employees receive in dealing with emergencies (fire, structural collapse, etc.) on a work site?


What do you think of OSHA’s proposal to move injury and illness reporting online and make it available to the public?


A California architect who improperly built a home with outdoor fireplaces installed inside has been sentenced to a year in prison for involuntary manslaughter after a house fire killed a firefighter. Does the penalty fit?


Deaths and citations from worksite falls are reaching new highs. So why do so many workers still skip fall protection?


Deaths and citations from worksite falls are reaching new highs. Why don’t more workers use appropriate fall protection?


Some parties involved in fatal structural collapses are facing criminal charges. Should such collapses be investigated as civil matters, criminal matters, or both?


Multiple studies suggest that workers underreport on-the-job injuries and illnesses. What do you see?


OSHA has finally announced a proposed rule to limit worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica. Do you support this plan?


A UK contractor will serve three years in prison for allowing an untrained employee to do work that cost him his life. What do you think of this sentence?


New Jersey has decided to waive some environmental permitting requirements to allow for the immediate rebuilding of public infrastructure that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Good or bad idea?


How do you expect Hurricane Sandy to affect your business?


A Pennsylvania painting company owner faces criminal charges for the electrocution of an employee. Authorities say he ignored the presence of high-power lines on a job site. Is the charge fair?


An experienced industrial painter crippled in a 40-foot fall was recently awarded $2.3 million for his injuries, although he was not wearing fall protection. What do you think of this jury verdict?


Most workplace deaths and serious injuries are easily prevented with well-known safety precautions, yet horrific industry accidents still happen frequently. Who is most responsible for this situation?


A year after the catastrophic BP oil spill in the Gulf, which aspect of the offshore industry still needs the most attention?


Several recent catastrophic workplace accidents have prompted criminal charges against owners of companies involved in the project. When should criminal charges against company officers be an option?


 
 
   

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