In the Blog.

by Jorge Vazquez on Jul 9, 2020

In any company, whether differences among members are great or small, functioning as a team is critical to success. In today’s meeting, we want to focus on behaviors that violate these principles in the worst way. We are speaking of verbal and physical confrontations, more commonly known as "having words” and fighting. Our company’s response to... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Jul 1, 2020

O.S.H.A. identifies falls as one of the four leading causes of fatalities in the construction industry. This is why employees must be trained to recognize fall exposures and have the authority to take corrective actions. I. We have all heard the expression - ‘it’s not the fall that’s hurts but the sudden stop at the end’. Think of a fall as “...a... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Jun 25, 2020

You are at risk from falling objects when you are beneath equipment, scaffolds, etc., or where overhead work is being performed. There is a danger from flying objects when power tools, or activities like pushing, pulling, or prying, may cause objects to become airborne. Injuries can range from minor abrasions to concussions, blindness, or death.... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Jun 17, 2020

Note to Supervisors: Read and prepare. Your objective is to point out the dangers of the most common – AND PREVENTABLE – causes of serious accidents. Explain practices to help avoid these types of accidents. You should hold this meeting on the floor so you can move around and point out and identify possible slip, trip and fall hazards. We have... read more

by Stan Marek on Jun 17, 2020

With the start of hurricane season, a reporter called to ask if we have the labor to rebuild from a major storm. My answer was immediate: No. Not even close. We still haven’t recovered from the last major storm — Harvey — because of a severe labor shortage in construction. Much has happened in the ensuing three years that has made the labor... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Jun 11, 2020

The “War on Falls” was declared with only one thing in mind – to prevent injuries by eliminating fall exposures. Zero tolerance and suspensions are merely tools to deal with a violation after it occurs. The ultimate goal is eliminate the exposure in the first place. That can only be accomplished by each and every one of us understanding what is... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Jun 3, 2020

Safely covering a floor opening with a piece of plywood requires more than just laying down the material over the hole, or even nailing it down. Total on the job safety means a total job of eliminating a hazard. Half a job or inadequate or incomplete jobs of covering holes in the floor. Why did it happen? Although originally nailed down with 8d... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on May 27, 2020

This guidance is based on what we currently know about COVID-19 as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Everyday Prevention • Wash your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at... read more

by Marek Brothers on May 21, 2020

The following article was authored by David C. Phillips and originally published in AWCI's Construction Dimensions magazine. A recent survey of the construction industry revealed that the biggest concerns among contractors for 2020 are not a lack of work, but worker quality and worker shortages, which can result in companies walking away from... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on May 21, 2020

Hot weather causes more fatalities than any other weather-related source. Heat waves rarely are given adequate attention but in fact, they claim more lives each year than floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined. Heat waves are a silent killer. Heatstroke also affects both genders equally. However, because many men were exposed to heat in the... read more

by Jorge Rodriguez on May 14, 2020

ANSI and OSHA do not reference a maximum service life for synthetic fiber products. ANSI and OSHA standards require that the user remove the equipment from service if it has been subject to the forces of arresting a fall. ANSI A10.32-2012 does not specify a 5-year harness and lanyard service life. It states that "fall protection equipment shall... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on May 6, 2020

Water The natural choice for hydration is water. It hydrates better than any other liquid, both before and during work. Water tends to be less expensive and more available than any other drink. You need to drink 4-6 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of work. That can add up to a lot of water! Water is the best, but it only helps you if you... read more

by Marek Brothers on Apr 30, 2020

The following tribute to Ralph Marek was authored by Pat Kiley, a managing director with FMI, founding principal of Kiley Advisors LLC, and served as chief staff executive for AGC Houston. Our Houston AGC Chapter and the entire construction industry stands today in sacred silence, saluting the accomplished life of Ralph Marek. This remarkable man... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Apr 29, 2020

Sharp edges and puncture hazards  When you are handling metal, remember the sharp rolled edges. Every employee gets relaxed around metal: when you see your co-workers do this, remind them about the sharp edges. Many hand lacerations are caused by carelessness - losing your grip and not wearing gloves (PPE) while handling metal framing, trash and... read more

by Mike Holland on Apr 27, 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph S. Marek. Ralph passed away Saturday, April 25, 2020 at the age of 95. Those of us that knew Ralph were fortunate to experience his kindness and considerate nature, and his genuine concern for everyone, especially those in need. Ralph was an extraordinarily smart man, and a true self-... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Apr 24, 2020

Note: Open Enrollment time is approaching! This is your opportunity to examine your benefit choices and make changes to meet your current needs. The enrollment process (including the benefits presentations) will be online through MyMAREK, and the enrollment period will begin May 18, 2020 and run through June 5, 2020. More information will come... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Apr 15, 2020

We have talked about eye protection many times in the past. There is no question of how fragile our eyes are and how important it is to protect them. We all know when to wear eye protection on the job, but today we want to talk about other eye injuries that occur and how to prevent them. The majority of eye injuries do not occur because we failed... read more

by Stan Marek on Apr 14, 2020

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently issued an order identifying industries considered essential during this pandemic. I was pleased that he included construction on the list. Construction has been my career and my passion for my entire life. My father and uncles — descendants of Czech immigrants — founded our company more than 80 years ago. Since... read more

by Jorge Vazquez on Apr 9, 2020

Accidents occur for many reasons. In most jobsites people tend to look for "things" or “people” to blame when an accident happens, because it's easier than looking for "root causes." While some factors in the workplace can play a role in causing distractions, the fact remains that more hazards result from unsafe acts than from unsafe conditions.... read more

by Marek Brothers on Apr 7, 2020

During these trying times created by the COVID-19 virus, it struck me just how important the construction industry is, and specifically the craft workers that build our structures. It is not a coincidence that those that make up the construction industry are considered essential along with first responders, healthcare workers, and grocery store... read more

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