December 2008 – AggBeat
The other three accidents included falls over embankments and a rollover down a slope. Earlier accidents in 2008 included a couple of mechanics who were killed while performing maintenance work. All employees should be trained in proper procedures and hazard recognition, according to the alert. The dozer’s blade should be kept between the operator and the edge when operating close to highwalls, and pre-operational equipment checks are essential.
MSHA also posted a Metal/Nonmetal Fatal Accident Update, stressing that 20 fatal accidents had occurred as of Oct. 17, 2008. Ten of the fatalities occurred during maintenance and repair tasks; four were contractors; five could have been prevented by wearing personal protective equipment; and two were electrical. Five of the fatal accidents occurred during the first 17 days of October. MSHA stressed the use of best practices:
* Examine work areas;
* Identify, eliminate, isolate, and control all hazards in the workplace;
* Conduct pre-operational inspections;
* Use fall protection when required;
* Report “near misses” or close calls; and
* Use lockout/tagout procedures.
Stormwater enforcement is coming
On Oct. 9, members of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s Environmental Committee were told to get their houses in order and be prepared for federal stormwater inspectors to be looking for violations. According to a report in the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers newsletter, Update, Ken Gigliello, acting director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Compliance Assessment and Media Programs Division of the Office of Compliance, told the audience they needed to have stormwater permits in place, be sampling according to their permit, have best management practices in place, have a current stormwater pollution prevention plan for the site, and have a current spill prevention, control, and countermeasure plan. The USEPA plans to inspect both aggregate and ready-mixed concrete facilities as part of its 2008-09 enforcement initiative.
Holcim recognizes sustainable construction projects
The Holcim Foundation announced nine winners of the second North American Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects at a ceremony in Montreal. The nine projects showcase the latest approaches to address critical topics that include affordable housing, employment, renewable energy, and water efficiency. This year’s winners are:
* Gold Award – New York City’s first carbon-neutral building, the Solar 2 Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center. The project, led by Christopher J. Collins, will be constructed on a “brownfield” waterfront site in downtown Manhattan.
* Silver Award - a self-contained day labor station in San Francisco, designed by Liz Obgu of the San Francisco-based nonprofit organization Public Architecture.
* Bronze Award - the Living with Lakes Center, a freshwater lake restoration and research facility in Ontario. The project will be overseen by Laurentian University scientist John Gunn.
*Acknowledgement prizes – three submissions received acknowledgement for innovative approaches to sustainable construction: an urban sustainability education center on the site of an old brickworks facility; a minimal-impact North Vancouver Outdoor School; and a strategy to augment the honeybee population in Detroit by transforming open urban spaces into green parks.
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