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Harness Launches New Features In Response To OHSA Emergency Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.  

Many employers are struggling to find ways to comply with the ETS.  Harness will make this easier for contractors through the addition of several new features to its safety management platform.  The features that are detailed below are available immediately as a paid add-on for existing Harness clients.  Companies that don’t currently use Harness can purchase the ETS-related features via a special promotional plan starting January 3rd, 2022.

What do employers need to do?

Under the ETS, applicable employers are required to adhere to several requirements.  The most notable of these are as follows:

  • Develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead establish, implement, and enforce a policy allowing employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at the workplace.
  • Determine the vaccination status of each employee, obtain acceptable proof of vaccination from vaccinated employees, maintain records of each employee’s vaccination status, and maintain a roster of each employee’s vaccination status.
  • Ensure that each employee who is not fully vaccinated is tested for COVID-19 at least weekly (if in the workplace at least once a week) or within 7 days before returning to work (if away from the workplace for a week or longer).
  • Provide each employee with information, in a language and at a literacy level the employee understands, about the requirements of the ETS and workplace policies and procedures established to implement the ETS.
  • Make certain records available for examination and copying to an employee (and to anyone having written authorized consent of that employee) or an employee representative.

When does the OSHA ETS take effect?

  • Employers must comply with most provisions by January 10, 2022.
  • Employers must comply with the testing requirement by February 9, 2022.

There are pending legal challenges to the ETS via the United States Supreme Court but employers are strongly encouraged to begin complying immediately as a favourable ruling is not assured.  Employers face steep fines for non-compliance and may also have issues due to changing workplace conditions on existing jobs. Employers may also find winning new bids becomes difficult if they are not in compliance with the ETS.

How will Harness help?

In order to help employers more easily comply with the OSHA ETS, Harness has developed several new features including:

  • New toolbox talks & training lessons to help supervisors and regular field workers understand the ETS and to help employers meet the educational aspects of the standard.
  • A form to collect workers’ vaccination status.  The status is stored on the worker’s profile.  Administrators can view, update & share the worker vaccination roster easily.
  • A form used to document weekly test results for unvaccinated workers.  Workers can upload their own results or they can be uploaded by a Harness administrator.
  • Weekly text and email reminders for unvaccinated workers that they must submit their test results or provide them to a company representative.

Additionally, Harness will provide its clients with templates for a COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing policy as well as copies of all relevant OSHA ETS materials within the app so they can be reviewed anytime, anywhere, on any device.

These new features come as a welcome relief to contractors frustrated by the burden of performing the tasks required under the ETS.  They will help them avoid unnecessary citations with minimal disruption to their business.

What will these features cost?

Existing Harness customers can have these new ETS features enabled as a premium add-on.  The cost will vary depending on their existing Harness billing plan.  

Companies that don’t currently use Harness can purchase the ETS compliance features a-la-carte for a one-time setup fee and monthly subscription based on their number of employees.

One Time Setup Fee

$0 for existing clients. 

For All New Clients Deploying ETS Features:  $1000

Monthly Subscription For ETS Features Only:

100-200 Employees – $179

200-300 Employees – $299

300-400 Employees – $399

400+ Employees – Contact Us 

Webinar On ETS Features

Harness will be holding a webinar on Friday, January 7th at 1 pm EST to showcase the new ETS features and answer employers’ questions.   

To register for the webinar click here

Best In Class Safety News

Harness Launches Major Redesign Of Its Construction Safety App

Harness has worked with customers over a three-year period to add exciting new features and an improved look & feel to the app that was already loved by the field.

November 22nd, 2021

Harness Software announced today that it is launching a new version of its much-loved safety app for contractors. Dubbed by the Harness team as “Harness V2”, the new version is a ground-up rebuild of the app that first launched in 2017 and is used daily by over 35,000 field personnel across North America.

Here are just some of the new features in V2:

Completely redesigned look & feel

Based on input from field personnel, Harness now has a slicker, easier-to-navigate look that incorporates larger fonts & buttons, quicker transitions between pages, and a better way to identify what workers should be doing on each screen.

The “Inbox”

The new landing screen in Harness V2 shows a worker exactly what they need to focus on that day. Workers will get notifications in their inbox when they’re assigned a toolbox talk, miss an important safety activity, have a new training lesson to perform, or when they’re assigned a corrective action item by safety staff or management.

Improved Photo Handling & Editing

Workers that add photos to forms in Harness will now be able to see a preview of their photo on-screen AND perform edits on the photo such as cropping, rotating, adding annotations etc…Similar to other popular photo apps, Harness will still tag photos with time & date stamps and collect all photos added to Harness in a single view so you can browse them whenever you like. Watch a demo of the photo module below.

Lessons & Certifications

Companies now have access to a more comprehensive learning management module in Harness V2. Our team will help you create engaging lessons that can be taken by workers on any device with dynamic, custom-designed quizzes to prove a worker’s understanding of the training material.

The improved certifications tracker stores both internal and external training records for all your workers AND you can easily share those records via QR code with third parties such as general contractors, OSHA inspectors, and more.

Better Compliance & Performance Reporting

Companies told us they wanted Harness to help them answer two main questions; Is everyone in the field doing what they’re supposed to in terms of safety activities? And “Are safety best practices being adhered to on our job sites?

The new dashboards available in Harness V2 make answering both these questions easy. We provide real-time visualizations that can help managers & safety personnel identify top performers, areas of improvement, and high-risk conditions at a glance. Watch a demo of the reporting and compliance feature below.

Want to learn more about what’s in Harness V2? Book a demo today!

Safety Best Practice Safety News

Roofing: The Most Dangerous Construction Trade

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports roofing as the trade with the highest fatality rate of all construction trades and the 4th highest of all occupations.

I’ve worked for a few roofing companies and know that it is a risky profession, but this statistic still came as a shock. Had I guessed, I probably would have said electricians or trench workers were the riskiest trade.

This article looks at why roofing is the most dangerous trade and ways every one of us can help change that.

How to Determine Risk Levels in Construction

Construction hazard risk levels are evaluated based on two components, the probability of its occurrence and the severity of a resulting injury. With those two pieces of information in hand, we can use the chart below to determine the level of risk.

We know that roofers have a high exposure risk to falls, putting them in row D. We also know that falls are the leading cause of death in construction, putting them in column 4.

(Image source: IHSA)

That puts the roofing profession in the bottom right corner of the chart, at the highest level of risk possible.

However, ironworkers also work at heights and even more around leading edges. They, too, are in the highest risk category, yet their fatality rate is half that of roofing.

The difference between the two trades is in the control measures they use, or more accurately, don’t use. Any trade in the high-risk category should be implementing the highest level of controls to mitigate those hazards.

What Are High-Level Fall Protection Controls?

According to OSHA standard 29 CFR 1926.501, every time an employee is working higher than six feet, they must utilize some form of fall protection. In short, that means roofing contractors need to:

  • Provide and ensure workers wear proper personal fall arrest systems
  • Set up adequate anchor points to tie off to
  • Set up guardrails or warning lines when applicable
  • Train employees on how to use the safety equipment and safe work practices

It’s not rocket science, yet for some reason, the number one most frequently cited OSHA standard is lack of fall protection. It is one of the highest risks and very often goes completely uncontrolled.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a study on the effect of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) on falls in construction. Here are three of their key findings:

  1. 54% of workers who fell were not provided access to PFAS by their employers
  2. 23% of workers who fell had access to a PFAS but chose not to wear one
  3. Lack of access was highest among residential roofing, siding and sheet metal contractors at 70%

This means the majority of fall-related deaths are preventable. Roofers should be the most safety-conscious trade out there, but they aren’t.

Why Don’t Roofing Companies Use Safety?

Over the many years that I’ve been in the construction safety industry, I’m confident I’ve heard all the excuses for why safety measures aren’t in place. For roofing companies, they usually boil down to one main reason, time.

Roofing crews (particularly residential) are often on more than one project a day. Every project requires a safety setup, no matter its size. That means sometimes the configuration takes longer than the job itself.

Add on to that the fact that roofing (especially residential) is an incredibly competitive industry, which drives prices down. Less income means companies need to keep costs low to make a profit. The most utilized tactic for keeping costs low is to increase production over less time. Less time allotted to complete projects means corners get cut. Since safety requires ‘extra’ time, it is often the first to go.

What You Can Do to Help Stop Construction Fall Fatalities

Everybody can do their part to fix this problem and save lives.



  • use the PFAS’s they are provided
  • leave a company that refuses to provide them

General Public:

  • make informed decisions to hire professional companies
  • ensure the company you hire utilizes high-level safety controls
  • recognize that the cheapest contractor is not likely the safest

What Harness is Doing to Help

We have launched a free version of our app to make safety toolbox talks accessible and affordable for all contractors. It is not a trial; it is a free plan for as long as you want it.

We even have roofing-specific toolbox talks available in our library, which is just one reason we are the number one safety app used by roofers.

Learn more about our free plan.

Leadership & Culture Safety News

National Stand-Down for Safety Week: What It Is and How Your Company Can Participate

OSHA statistics show an average of around five thousand U.S based work fatalities per year. To put that in perspective, that’s about 100 deaths per week, or 15 a day.

That means, approximately every hour and a half, a construction company owner or manager has to call their employees’ family and explain that their loved one won’t be coming home from work that day. That is a call you never want to have to make and you definitely don’t want to receive.

The number one cause of these construction fatalities, year after year, after year, is falls.

What is National Safety Stand Down Week?

May 3 – 7 2021 is National Safety Stand-Down Week to prevent Falls in Construction and is hosted by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).
The week is aimed at raising fall hazard awareness across the country, in an effort to stop injuries and fatalities caused when working at heights.

What Can Your Company Do To Help the Cause?

It doesn’t matter how big your construction company is, what trade you are in or what your role is within your company, everyone can and SHOULD get involved. You can participate in three ways:

1. Educate Your Workers by Hosting a “Stand-Down”

A Stand-Down is a conversation between the employer, or upper management and their workers. It is a chance to talk about safety and this week, specifically fall prevention.
Dr. Maya Angelo famously said “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better”. As the employer, you should take this opportunity to make sure your employees “know better”.

A great way to accomplish that is to start the stand-down with a Toolbox Talk, refreshing your employees knowledge of proper means of protecting themselves from falls.

This more formal training should be followed by an informal conversation, allowing ample opportunity for workers to ask questions and address any safety concerns they may have.

2. Help Bring Awareness to the Cause

You can help bring awareness to the fact that falls are killing construction workers on a daily basis by capturing a picture of your team during your Stand-Down and posting it on your social media accounts.

In the caption, include how your company is committed to the safety of your employees. Encourage your employees to do the same on their personal accounts and use the hashtag #StandDown4Safety

3. Follow Through on Your Commitment to Safety

Hosting a Stand-Down and bringing awareness to the cause is a fantastic start but to really make a difference, safety needs to be incorporated into the culture of your company. It’s hard to know where to start with that, but luckily you are on the right track.
The Learning Center on our website is filled with valuable information for all construction companies, of all sizes and trades. It’s free for anyone to access and share with their teams. It is a fantastic resource to help you “know better” so you can follow through on your commitment to “do better”.

What Harness is Doing to Help the Cause

We’re launching several things in conjunction with National Safety Week:

  • As previously announced, We are making a version of the Harness safety app available for FREE. The free plan includes access to hundreds of toolbox talks, including twelve focused specifically on fall protection. It allows you to document attendance on any device.
  • In order to promote the best practice of inspecting fall protection harnesses before each use, we will be launching another FREE inspections app. More details will be available on Monday May 3rd.
  • We’ll be offering FREE, no obligation evaluations of your Safety Program so you can identify areas for improvement and get valuable tips.

Make sure you are following us on Social Media so you don’t miss out on these announcements!

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News Reaction Safety News

Roofing Company Cited $70k in OSHA Fines: Lessons Learned

On December 16, 2021, Double M Roofing & Construction had a crew of four employees replacing a roof on a townhouse in Berea, Ohio, when one of them fell 20 feet to the ground. The employee who fell was a 14-year-old boy, and he suffered critical injuries.

The owner of the company, Melvin Schmucker, who was onsite, and the two other employees, proceeded to retrieve and put on personal fall protection equipment that was in their trailer at the job site.

It is assumed that this act was an attempt to hide the company’s safety failures as there was no required report of the injury made to OSHA.

A nearby security camera captured the evidence OSHA needed of the boy and the other employees working without fall protection equipment. This evidence was submitted to local police, who passed it along to OSHA.

Approximately two weeks later, OSHA inspectors caught up with the company on a different jobsite where workers were once again working at heights of more than 22 feet, without the necessary fall protection equipment.

OSHA has just recently issued citations to the company for two willful, three serious, and one other-than-serious violations of OSHA’s safety standards, totaling more than $70k.

What Fines Did OSHA Issue?

There were a total of 6 citations issued between the two job sites. We outline them in layman’s terms below and also link to the referenced OSHA regulation which was broken.

Citation 1 & 2

Regulation 29 CFR 1926.21(b)(2) was broken when the company failed to instruct their employees on how to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions on their work site, in this case, a fall from heights.

OSHA designated the citation as “Serious” and assigned a fine of $4,096.00.

The second citation for this same regulation occurred on a jobsite two weeks later. OSHA assigned a fine of $30,037 to the second citation.

The difference between the two citations was that OSHA designated the second as “Willful – Serious”

Citation 3 & 4

Regulation 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13) was broken when the company failed to ensure it’s employees were properly protected from the fall from heights hazard by either guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems.

OSHA designated the citation as “Serious” and assigned a fine of $4,096.00.

The second citation for this same regulation occurred on a jobsite two weeks later. OSHA assigned a fine of $30,037 to the second citation.

The difference between the two citations was that OSHA designated the second as “Willful – Serious”

Citation 5

Regulation 29 CFR 1904.39(a)(2) was broken when the company failed to report the in-patient hospitalization resulting from a workplace incident to OSHA within the required 24 hours, or in this case, at all.

OSHA designated the citation as “Other-Than-Serious” and assigned a fine of $2,926.

Citation 6

Regulation 29 CFR 1926.102(a)(1) was broken when the employees were not wearing safety glasses when using air powered nail guns.

OSHA designated the citation as “Serious” and assigned a fine of $2,341.

The Fallout

The fact that the injured employee was only 14 years old was not referenced in the citation. The Fair Labor Standards Act sets 14 as the minimum age of employment and limits the number of hours worked for those under 16. It also prohibits their employment in work declared as hazardous, but leaves the term open to interpretation.

When asked to comment, the OSHA Cleveland area director Howard Eberts said the Department of Labor’s child labor laws do not permit “a 14-year-old to work construction work at heights; the boy should not have been allowed to work on the roof.”

The company has fifteen days from the date of issuance to either pay the fines and provide corrective actions for each citation or, formally notify the board of their intent to contest.

What Can We Learn From These Mistakes?

There is a ton we can learn from the many many mistakes clearly made by Double M Roofing, but the three we should focus on are:

  1. Public Fall Out
  2. The names of company’s receiving OSHA citations are made publicly available. This means your community, insurance company, employees, competitors and potential future clients have full access to all the information.

    In addition to the fines handed out by OSHA, there is a huge potential for additional financial loss, through insurance rate increases, drops in revenue, employee turnover and damage to your reputation.

  3. What ‘Willful” Means
  4. In this case, the difference between a “Serious” and a “Willful – Serious” citation was $25k. As outlined in Section 17 of the act, OSHA increases the amount of the fine if the citation is repeated or they determine it was knowingly committed.

    The max fine for a serious citation is $13,653 while a willful or repeated citation max is $136,532.

    Obviously, the goal is to not break regulations to begin with, but if you do and are caught, there are no second chances.

  5. Instruct vs Ensure
  6. OSHA makes a distinction between instructing your employees in regards to hazards and ensuring they are following your instructions; So much so, that you can be cited and fined in both ways for the same infraction.

    “All too often, OSHA inspectors responding to reports of roofers without fall protection find the employer has the safety equipment on-site and refuses to ensure its use,” explains Eberts. “Exposure to fall hazards makes roofing work among the most dangerous jobs in construction. OSHA requires fall protection when working at heights greater than 6 feet.”

    In short, they require you to properly train workers and follow up to make sure they are using their training.

How Harness Can Help Avoid These Citations

We don’t know what kind of Safety Program Double M Roofing has, if they have one at all. If they do have documentation of Fall Protection training they provided their workers, they would be able to formally contest citations 1 and 2 and use their training documents as evidence.

Furthermore, if they possessed records of site inspections where a supervisor notes the workers wearing proper personal fall protection, they could attempt to contest citations 3 and 4.

If they could even come up with paperwork documenting disciplinary actions taken against their own employees for failing to adhere to company fall protection regulations, it would give them a stronger argument that they are doing their due diligence.

This is where a Safety Management System such as Harness can benefit companies: by creating, storing and making readily available the necessary documentation to challenge citations and even by preventing these infractions from happening to begin with.

We work with companies who require our help to start their safety programs, those with well established programs already in place and all levels of companies in between.

To find out more about what you can do to improve your safety program, click on the article below that best describes your current program, or lack thereof.

5 Easy Tasks to Start Your Construction Safety Program

5 Simple Tasks to Improve Your Existing Construction Safety Program

5 Key Tasks to Make Your Construction Safety Program Amazing

How to... Safety News

Top 5 Costly Construction Injuries & How to Mitigate Them

Having a fatal accident on your job site is obviously the most tragic situation and the most costly to the employer. However, workplace injuries which cause an employee to miss more than five days of work, while less physically serious, can also come with a costly burden on the employer.

In fact, disabling injuries cost U.S businesses more than $59 Billion per year. This is determined by combining medical and lost-wage expenses, not even taking into account potential fines and insurance increases.

When I was working for a small residential roofing company, one of our Foremen slipped on a small patch of ice while getting out of his truck at the shop and damaged his achilles tendon.

He required months of physical therapy and was told, until he recovered, he could not walk on sloped surfaces. That’s kind of an issue when you shingle roofs for a living.

As the employer, we were required to offer him modified work at his normal rate of pay. Ever paid someone $35 an hour to sweep your shop? All day? For almost a year?

Top Non-Fatal Construction Injuries

Luckily for you, Liberty Mutual Insurance has put together the most costly, non-fatal injuries in the construction industry, and we have summarized them below:

Rank Injury Cost in Billions Percent of Total
1 Falls to Lower Level $2.5 24.1%
2 Struck by Object or Equipment $1.7 16.7%
3 Overexertion Involving Outside Sources $1.48 14.2%
4 Falls on Same Level $1.36 13.1%
5 Pedestrian Vehicular Incidents $0.79 7.63%

How to Prevent The Most Costly Injuries at Your Company

Understanding these risks is only the first step to preventing them on your job sites. You also need to train your employees on how to protect themselves from these hazards.

The best way to do that is by conducting Toolbox Talks on topics which relate to each hazard. We have recommended a few from the Harness library for each injury type below.

Injury Toolbox Topics
Falls to Lower Level Fall Protection Systems

Ladder Set Up & Use

Scaffolding Components

Floor Openings

Struck by Object or Equipment Transporting Hand Tools

Trash Disposal

Compressor Tools

Flying Forms

Overexertion Involving Outside Sources Material Handling

Proper Lifting


Working on Knees

Falls on Same Level Wet & Icy Surfaces

Tripping Hazards

Unloading Material


Pedestrian Vehicular Incidents Distracted Driving

Vehicle Hand Signals

Public Traffic Control

Backing Vehicles

Our clients have access to each of these talks in their account, but you can also reach out to your local trade association or even Google them.

Finally, you should make sure your employees are listening and engaged during training so that the information is retained.

Hopefully, by being better prepared for these workplace hazards, you won’t end up with the most expensive shop hand ever.

To read more about how Harness makes conducting Toolbox Talks easy, click the button below.

How to... Safety News

Covid-19 Workplace Prevention Program: 11 Key Elements

Responding to President Joe Biden’s executive order on worker health and safety, on January 29 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued stronger guidance on identifying coronavirus exposure risks and implementing a COVID-19 Prevention Program at work. Having a program can help protect your employees from contracting the virus and keep your workforce doing what they are supposed to do, work.

Some jurisdictions, including the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board have already gone a step further and made a preventions program mandatory. Every business located or operating in California with more than one employee who are not working remotely must have a written Covid-19 Prevention Program in place.

The California guidelines, published weeks ago, can help you develop a program of your own now. We have pulled out what is relevant to contractors and summarized it below, so you don’t have to read the entire 23-page order.

You have our full permission to copy and paste this information into your own document and begin the process of customizing it to your business. You can thank us (and the State of California) by sharing this on your social media accounts; the more businesses who help prevent the spred, the better. We really are all in this together.

Covid-19 Workplace Prevention Program Overview

All employers should establish, implement, and maintain an effective, written COVID-19 Prevention Program. The written elements of the program should include:

1. System for Communicating

  • outline the process for an employee to report symptoms, exposures and hazards at the workplace
  • describe how you will accommodate employees with an increased risk of severe Covid-19 illness provide information about access to Covid-19 testing in your area
  • make a commitment to communicate information about Covid-19 hazards, policies and procedures to your employees, and any other person in contact with the workplace (which includes job sites)

2. Identification, Evaluation and Correction or Reduction of COVID-19 Hazards

  • Develop and implement a process for screening employees prior to work. This may include a written self-evaluation or temperature checks using non-contact thermometers
  • Conduct a workplace-specific identification of interactions, areas, activities, processes, equipment and materials that could potentially expose employees to Covid-19 and treat all persons in these situations, regardless of symptoms, as potentially infectious
  • For indoor locations, maximize the quantity of outdoor air and increase filtration to the highest level with existing ventilation systems
  • Periodically review and inspect local health department and industry-specific guidelines and your existing procedures
  • For every hazard identified above, the company shall implement effective policies and or procedures for correcting or reducing these unhealthy conditions

3. Training and Instruction

  • The employer must train and educate the employees about Covid-19, how it is spread, the symptoms, and methods to prevent its transmission
  • Training sessions should be documented as to who attended

4. Physical Distancing

  • All employees shall be separated from other people by at least six feet, except where you can demonstrate that six feet is not possible or momentary exposure while persons are in movement
  • When not possible, they need to remain as far apart as possible

5. Face Coverings

  • Employers shall provide face coverings and ensure they are worn by employees when indoors or when outdoors and less than six feet from another person
  • Exceptions include: when an employee is alone in a room, eating or drinking as long as they are 6 feet apart, if they are wearing other safety respirators already or if medical or mental health conditions restrict their use
  • If a specific task cannot feasibly be performed with a face covering, the person is exempt but limited to the period in which the task is being performed, and the person is either 6 feet away from others or tested for Covid-19 twice a week
  • Employers cannot prevent an employee from wearing a mask when they are not required to, unless it renders their task unsafe

6. Other Controls and Personal Protective Equipment

  • In fixed work locations where physical distancing is not possible, the employer shall install cleanable solid partitions to reduce aerosol transmission
  • Employers shall clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects and notify employees of the procedure and frequency
  • Prohibit sharing of PPE and other close contact items when feasible, such as tools, keyboards, pens, phones etc.
  • Complete cleaning and disinfecting of areas, materials and equipment a positive case has come in contact with
  • Employers to provide appropriate hand washing facilities and hand sanitizer and encourage employees to wash regularly
  • Employers evaluate the need and shall provide appropriate personal protective equipment not limited to, gloves, goggles and face shields

7. Employer Provided Transportation

  • Whenever possible, put employees from the same household together, and if not, then from the same crew
  • The operator and passengers are separated by at least three feet in all directions, regardless of vehicle capacity
  • Everyone in the vehicle is wearing a mask
  • Conduct daily screening questionnaires and exclude drivers and riders with symptoms, prior to boarding
  • All high contact surfaces (handles, seatbelts, armrests etc) are disinfected before each trip
  • High contact points for drivers (wheel, shifter etc) are disinfected between drivers
  • Windows are kept open when the weather conditions range between 60 and 90 degrees. When above or below that the heat or AC may be on as long as it is set to maximize outdoor air and not recirculate. Windows can also be closed during rain or snow, having the ventilation system running is still recommended
  • Employers shall provide hand sanitizer in each vehicle and ensure riders and drivers use it before and after each ride

8. Investigating and Responding to COVID-19 Cases

  • Determine day and time the case was last present and if possible the day and time they first experienced symptoms
  • Determine who may have had exposure to the case
  • Give notice to everyone who was exposed within 1 business day and send them home
  • Offer Covid-19 testing at no cost and during working hours to all employees with exposure
  • Investigate whether any workplace conditions could have contributed to exposure and what can be done to reduce or eliminate that hazard
  • Keep all personal information of cases and medical information confidential

9. Exclusion of Covid-19 Cases

  • All positive cases must be excluded from the workplace until the criteria in section 10 is met
  • Employees with exposure to a positive case must be excluded from the workplace for 14 days from the date of the exposure
  • Employees excluded from work due to positive test results or exposure and otherwise able and available to work shall maintain their earnings, seniority and all other rights and benefits as if they had not been removed from their job. Employers may use provided sick leave benefits for this purpose. This does not apply if the employer can demonstrate that the exposure is not work related
  • These regulations do not limit any other law, policy or collective bargaining agreement that provide greater protection

10. Return to Work Criteria

  • Cases with symptoms shall not return to work until:

1. At least 24 hours have passed since a fever of 100.4 or higher has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications; and

2. Other COVID-19 symptoms have improved; and

3. At least 10 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared

  • COVID-19 cases who tested positive but never developed COVID-19 symptoms shall not return to work until a minimum of 10 days have passed since the date of specimen collection of their first positive COVID-19 test
  • A negative COVID-19 test shall not be required for an employee to return to work
  • If an order to isolate or quarantine an employee is issued by a local or state health official, the employee shall not return to work until the period of isolation or quarantine is completed or the order is lifted

11. Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Access

  • Employers must report information about Covid-19 cases and deaths at the workplace to their local health department when required to by law
  • Employer shall maintain written records of their Covid-19 Prevention Program, and the steps taken to implement it and make it available to their employees
  • Record and Track all Covid-19 cases with names, contact info, occupation, location worked, date of last day worked, date of positive test and keep it confidential

How Harness Can Help

Harness can help make navigating the Covid-19 pandemic easier. Our platform has multiple ways to document, train, and track all the requirements mentioned above. Here are some of the ways our current clients are utilizing Harness in addition to their regular safety program:

  • Having each employee fill out a symptom self assessment on their own phone, prior to starting work each morning
  • Storing their Prevention Program so it is available to all their workers on all device types
  • Using our custom Covid-19 Toolbox Talks to train their workers on Covid-19 and document their attendance at the meeting
  • Recording information about positive cases and exposures
  • Documenting cleaning and disinfection schedules
  • Conducting inspections for potential Covid-19 Hazards and tracking how they are corrected

If you have a unique or industry specific Covid-19 concern, we are able to work with you to design a custom solution. If you have any questions or would like to talk more about how Harness can help you through these tough times, please book an appointment to speak with us.

Otherwise, feel free to check out these additional resources.

Top 5 Ways To Foster A Safety Culture In Your Construction Business
Best Construction Safety Apps
What Does Harness Software Cost?

News Reaction Safety News

NYC Issues 88 COVID-19 Citations In Early July


During its first five days of actively enforcing new COVID-19 safety protocols, New York City’s Department of Buildings issued 88 citations, including 41 stop-work orders, at construction sites throughout the city.

DOB used Geographic Information System technology, which integrates compliance data with interactive mapping tools, to efficiently route hundreds of inspectors to each of the city’s 40,000 job sites multiple times since the COVID-19 pandemic began, often responding to citizens who reported potential violations.

Since March 30, New York City residents have used the city’s nonemergency 311 phone system to lodge 6,127 complaints against contractors for potential COVID-19 job-site safety protocol violations.

DOB, construction workers and New Yorkers are working to ensure COVID-19 safety protocols are observed at the city’s construction sites, and compliance has been relatively high.

“A large chunk of the construction industry was really paying attention to what New York City went through the past couple months and took the pandemic and trying to slow the spread of the pandemic very seriously,” said Andrew Rudansky, press secretary for DOB.

Beginning June 8, when work at nonessential job sites was allowed to resume in New York City, DOB implemented a new set of mandatory health and sanitation regulations for worksites, including new rules for face coverings, social distancing, cleaning protocols, educational signage and recordkeeping.

The department allowed a 30-day grace period for job sites to become compliant after reopening. During that time, inspectors found instances of too many workers riding hoists together; small spaces that forced workers to be in close contact while entering or leaving a job site, such as stairways; large gatherings at lunchtime or during tool talk meetings; inadequate logs and recordkeeping regarding worker interactions (to be used for contact tracing); and insufficient tracking of on-site cleaning.

When inspectors saw those infractions in June, they reached out to supervisors with guidance and educational materials. Starting July 8, DOB began enforcing the new rules, with initial civil penalties of $5,000 for each offense and $10,000 for subsequent violations. It issued its initial 88 citations from July 8 through July 13.

Safety Best Practice Safety News

Harness Launches Free COVID-19 App

Harness Software announces the availability of a FREE Safety Meeting/Toolbox Talk App that will enable construction companies to disseminate COVID-19 virus-related information to their remote workforces and help them document employee meetings. This app is immediately available to all construction companies in North America

  • The app includes access to the latest content from reputable sources such as the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • All information within the app will be organized into short talks with emphasis on points relevant to construction workers.
  • The app will be updated automatically as more information becomes available
  • All material will be available in English & Spanish
  • Foremen or Supervisors will be able to quickly capture names and signatures from the attendees of each safety meeting/toolbox talk
  • PDF records of each meeting can be automatically emailed back to the office

“Construction workers don’t have the option to work from home. Companies need easy access to the information necessary to protect their employees and keep them as productive as possible during this crisis. We are all in this together. That’s why we’re launching this free resource.”, said Tom Whitaker, CEO of Harness Software. Existing Harness Software customers will also receive enhanced resources as part of this program to battle fear & the spread of the disease.

Download the app by clicking the button below.

News Reaction Safety News

OSHA Inspections Increase 3X in 2019

If you’ve never been subject to an OSHA inspection, your time may soon come. In a recent release of fiscal year 2019 activities, OSHA revealed that they conducted 33,401 inspections. This number represents more inspections than in the previous three years combined. The inspections focused on addressing violations related to trenching, falls, chemical exposure, silica, and other hazards.

Are you ready for OSHA?

Here are a few quick tips that you can follow to make sure your workers are ready when OSHA arrives on your site:

1. Have Your Crew Stop Working

There’s no point in continuing to work while the inspector is there. Instruct your guys to take a break or move them to a different part of the site for the duration of the visit.

2. Get The Right Person Onsite Before Allowing The Inspection To Proceed

Establish in advance who at your company is going to work with OSHA. Instruct your onsite leadership to contact them immediately when OSHA arrives and have them inform the OSHA compliance officer that he/she may not access the site until the company representative arrives onsite.

3. Find Out Why OSHA Is There?

Is this a complaint-based inspection, in response to a death or injury, a targeted inspection (government focus on specific industries), or just a random drive-by inspection? Have your company representative ascertain the reason so that you can take further steps to limit the scope of the visit.

4. Keep Good Notes. Share Only Strong Safety Records If Requested.

Have your company rep keep notes of the walkthrough and take their own photos of the items the compliance officer documents. Inspectors will likely want to review the current and prior 3 years’ illness logs and annual summaries of injuries. They may ask for training records such as toolbox talks, as well as for evidence of programs such as: hazard communication, lockout/tagout, emergency evacuation, silica, and bloodborne pathogens.

The speed with which your company is able to respond to these requests will tell OSHA a lot about you. As will the quality (or lack thereof) of the records you produce. If it takes you a long time to send them your stuff, that’s an indicator that you’re not running a tight ship when it comes to safety. They’ll likely want to look deeper.

Likewise, if you’re sending them crumpled pieces of paper with missing information or illegible handwriting, it will raise red flags and could lead to more citations.

Of course, you can make this kind of stuff easy if you’re using a safety management app like Harness!

One thing is for sure, now that OSHA is stepping up their enforcement activities, you can’t afford to be unprepared.

See How Harness Can Better Prepare Your Company For an OSHA Inspection

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