From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
April 2021
National Struck-by Stand-Down Takes Place April 26
CPWR and the NORA Construction Sector Council will be leading the second annual Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents in Construction on Monday, April 26. The Stand-Down, to take place on the first day of National Work Zone Awareness Week, asks contractors to pause work to recognize that struck-by incidents are a leading cause of death among construction workers and to educate their crews about risks and solutions for mitigating them. To make the Stand-Down a success during COVID-19, we are encouraging contractors, workers, and other stakeholders to participate virtually. There are many ways to get involved, including two opportunities detailed later in this newsletter: sharing the resources highlighted in Tools for Safety and Health and joining two webinars. More information is on posted on CPWR's Struck-By Hazards webpage.
8th Annual OSHA-NIOSH-CPWR National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls: May 3-7
Falls continue to be the number one cause of workplace fatalities in construction: Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that between 2018 and 2019, fatal falls to a lower level increased from 321 to 401. Those figures make it more important than ever to re-focus on fall hazard awareness and the prevention of falls, particularly as employers and employees are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. CPWR has been posting new resources and information in connection with this May’s OSHA-NIOSH-CPWR National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, including hosting webinars with members of the ANSI Z359 Accredited Standards Committee and the National Roofing Contractors Association. Register for those webinars below and find more information about the Stand-Down on the Stop Construction Falls website.
Also, to improve our resources and outreach efforts, we are conducting a fall experience survey to learn more about the root causes of falls from heights. If you have experienced, witnessed, or investigated a fall incident, please consider completing the survey.
New Resources for Struck-By Stand-Down
CPWR continues to add resources to support National Work Zone Awareness Week, which takes place April 26-30. The newest materials are infographics on Best Practices for Safe Crane Lifts and Struck-by Incidents Are a Leading Cause of Injury; both are available in English and Spanish. Find other resources on our Struck-by Hazards page.

Updated COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
An updated version of our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for the Construction Industry one-pager is now available. The new version, available in English and Spanish, is part of CPWR’s collection of vaccine resources.

Sign up for the NIEHS E-Newsbrief
The E-Newsbrief from the NIEHS National Clearinghouse is a free weekly newsletter focusing on developments in worker safety and health. Each issue summarizes the latest worker health and safety news from newspapers, magazines, journals, government reports, and the web, along with links to the original documents. Also featured are updates from government agencies that handle hazmat and worker safety issues such as DOE, EPA, OSHA and others. Click here to become a subscriber.
Wednesday, April 14th at 11 a.m. ET -- CPWR-NIOSH-OSHA COVID-19 Webinar: OSHA’s National Emphasis Program for COVID-19
OSHA recently released a Direction (effective March 12, 2021) for implementing a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to ensure that employees in high-hazard industries or work tasks are protected from the hazard of contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The NEP targets establishments in specific industries that have workers with increased potential exposure to this hazard. While the construction industry is not among the primary industries being targeted, Area Office Directors are authorized supplement their establishment target lists based on local area information, such as frequent complaints. In addition, this NEP includes an added focus to ensure that workers are protected from retaliation, and are accomplishing this by preventing retaliation where possible, distributing anti-retaliation information during inspections, and outreach opportunities, as well as promptly referring allegations of retaliation to the Whistleblower Protection Program. After a welcome from Scott Earnest, associate director for construction in NIOSH’s Office of Construction Safety and Health, this 30-minute webinar will feature three OSHA staff members: Larry McGowan, supervisory industrial hygienist in the Directorate of Enforcement Programs; Scott Ketcham, director of the Directorate of Construction, and Timothy Irving, deputy director in the Directorate of Construction. Chris Trahan Cain, CPWR’s executive director, will then moderate a Q&A session. 

Tuesday, April 20th at 2 p.m. ET -- Fall Protection Q&A Panel Part II
In support of last year’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, CPWR hosted a virtual Q&A panel with members of the ANSI Z359 Accredited Standards Committee – available on-demand here. To follow up on the great safety information provided by the panel and answer even more of your fall protection questions, we are holding a second webinar just before the 2021 Stand-Down (May 3-7). This year’s panel -- Thom Kramer, principal of LJB Inc. and Z359 Accredited Standards Committee Chairman; Dan Henn, vice president of operations at Reliance Fall Protection, vice-chairman of the ANSI/ASSP Z359, and chairman of the Z359.14 Subgroup; Adam Rubin, corporate safety director of Zachry Group and vice-chairman of the Z359.14 Subgroup; and Cory Gaye, corporate safety director of Wagman, Inc. and chair of ACIG’s Infrastructure Safety Peer Group – will provide more tips and techniques to utilize the ANSI/ASSP Z359 Standards and improve your fall protection programs to keep workers safe on the jobsite, but the content will be driven by your questions. 
Monday, April 26th at 1 p.m. ET -- Cranes & Lifting: Avoiding Struck-By Incidents Under the Hook
The second National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents takes place April 26, and this year we’ve the focus includes lift zones as well as work zones. In this webinar, a variety of industry stakeholders will describe the responsibilities of a lift director and the basics to look out for in a lift zone, the most prevalent issues and accidents experienced, and best practices for lift safety. Join moderator Michael Mills of Liberty Mutual Insurance and presenters Tom Gordon of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 14-14B, Jim Wiethorn of International Crane & Construction Safety Solutions, LLC, and Mike Parnell of Industrial Training International for this one-hour session.

Monday, April 26th at 3 p.m. ET -- Preventing Struck-By Incidents: Learning by Experience
During the second webinar in support of this year’s National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents, the panelists -- Kevin Carnahan, regional Safety Manager at Granite Construction Co.; Emmett Russell, retired director of safety for the International Union of Operating Engineers and industry master instructor; and Jacob Ladd, area director for OSHA's Wilmington Area Office
-- will discuss their experiences facing stuck-by incidents and identifying improvements and strategies to better avoid them. Bradley Sant, senior vice president for safety and education at the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, will then host a question-and-answer session.

Wednesday, April 28th at 1 p.m. ET -- Fall Harness Fit: The Basics
In order for a personal fall arrest system to effectively protect workers in the event of a fall, it’s critical that the harness fits properly and is worn as intended. In support of the OSHA-NIOSH-CPWR Campaign to Prevent Falls and National Safety Stand-Down May 3 through 7, CPWR is partnering with the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) to provide a webinar on this topic. During this 30-minute presentation followed by Q&A, you’ll hear from three experts at NRCA -- Thomas Shanahan, vice president of enterprise risk management and executive education; Harry Dietz, director of enterprise risk management and Rich Trewyn, director of enterprise Risk Management. They’ll discuss how to know whether a harness fits correctly, including demonstrations and descriptions of how it should look and feel when on, and why fit is so important.

Thursday, April 29th, 1 p.m. ET -- Supporting Construction Workers – Suicide Prevention, Mental Health, & Substance Use Awareness
The construction industry has one of the highest suicide and opioid overdose rates among all industries. The reasons are complicated. This webinar, co-sponsored by CPWR and the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), will spotlight the impact that suicides, mental health disorders, and substance use have on the trades and will share resources and examples of what stakeholders can do to support workers and keep them safe in a dynamic environment. After a welcome from James Winford, chairperson of NAPA, learn firsthand from two experts with personal experiences and innovative programs that reach and support thousands of workers as they navigate through these complex issues: Jamie Becker, director of health promotion at LHSFNA, and Marianne Wolfe, managed care supervisor, Allied Trades Assistance Program. 

Monday, May 3rd, at 1 p.m. ET -- 2021 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction: Official Kick-off with OSHA, NIOSH and CPWR
As the story at the start of this issue of Update points out, falls continue to be the leading cause of death in construction. To raise awareness of construction falls and to work with the industry to better prevent them, the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction was launched through the NORA Construction Sector Council in 2012 with leadership from NIOSH, OSHA, and CPWR. The annual National Safety Stand-Down, when employers and workers take a break to focus on preventing falls, is the cornerstone of the campaign. This year, business leaders, labor organizations, community groups, and other construction industry stakeholders will participate in virtual or socially distanced Stand-Down events May 3-7. To kick-off the week, leaders from OSHA, NIOSH and CPWR will share some of the latest data related to OSHA enforcement, incident rates, and underlying causes of falls, as well as real-life stories and new fall prevention resources to use during the Stand-Down week and beyond. The panelists for this session will be James Frederick, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, OSHA; Scott Ketcham, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction; John Howard, director of NIOSH and administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; G. Scott Earnest, associate director for construction in NIOSH’s Office of Construction Safety and Health; and Chris Cain, CPWR executive director.

From Our Partners

Thursday, April 8, 2 p.m. ET -- NIEHS WTP COVID-19 Winter Series -- The Paindemic: The Intersection between the COVID-19 Pandemic and Deaths of Despair
Mental health issues -- in particular suicide and opioid addiction -- have been affecting construction workers at alarming rates. Recent state-level studies of opioid overdose deaths show that construction workers are six to seven times more likely to die of an overdose than workers in other professions, and construction occupations now have the highest rate and number of suicides across all groups. Increased stress related to the pandemic only exacerbates these and other mental health issues.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)’s Worker Training Program (WTP) will hold a webinar on April 8th to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on mental health for all workers, including the effects of getting infected, infecting family members, changes in work and work schedules, loss of pay, and workplace violence. Panelists will also discuss the fact that minority and low wage workers tend to be most impacted by stressors including lack of access to healthcare, food and housing insecurity, job loss, and discrimination, and will review interventions such as peer assistance programs, training, and increased access to mental health and substance use care in the workplace. Register here.

Please be aware that CPWR's webinar platform enables 1,000 people to attend live; however, everyone who registers for the event will automatically receive the recording. 

Past Webinars
Learn more about CPWR's recent webinars on COVID-19 and the construction industry, as well as webinars on a wide range of safety and health topics.
CPWR in the News
Career Opportunities
CPWR has job openings, including to be Assistant Director, Data Center. Visit our Career Opportunities page for all current postings and instructions for applying.
Speaking Engagements

10:45 – 11:45: Nanomaterials in the Workplace: Epidemiological Research, Exposure Assessment, and Hazard Communication
  • Bruce Lippy, Nanomaterials Research Consultant
  • Gavin West, Director, Nanomaterials Research
Conferences and Workshops
May 26-27, 2021 Online -- PtD as We Move into the Post-COVID Era
Prevention through Design (PtD) has the potential to reduce workers' exposure to safety and health hazards. A virtual PtD workshop, hosted by Arizona State University and funded by NIOSH, will take place May 26 and 27, 2021 and focus on what we have learned in the past year that can be translated to improving PtD moving into the post-COVID era. This workshop offers an excellent opportunity for architects, engineers, contractors, construction companies, project owners, insurers, and academia to exchange and leverage their experiences and expertise on PtD practices.