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.
• 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
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
by Jorge Vazquez on Apr 2, 2020
Construction work is considered and essential business, as our industry is responsible for keeping, highways, office buildings, hospitals, chemical plants, schools, churches, arenas and shopping centers. As the situation keeps developing, we will continue to review all official government orders and updates. Your supervisor will advise you on the... read more
by Jorge Vazquez on Mar 23, 2020
WATER BOTTLE USE
Experts don't believe your reusable water bottle can spread the virus. But you should definitely be cleaning it diligently, regardless of an outbreak. Prior to drinking from a new water bottle, be sure to inspect that the seal beneath the cap is secure and not broken.
Use your plastic water bottle for water only as other... read more