One of BAC's core missions is fighting for health and safety: protecting union members on the job, providing members with information and tools to work safely, and promoting occupational safety for all trowel trades craftworkers.
Establishing collaborative safety and health programs in workplaces is one of the most effective ways to protect workers and businesses. When management and workers collaborate to identify and solve issues before they occur, it builds trust, enhances communication, and leads to mutually beneficial improvements. Learn more about workers' rights related to safety and health.
Protect Yourself from the Cold
Outdoor work requires proper preparation, especially in severe winter weather conditions. Employers must prevent illnesses, injuries, or fatalities, by controlling these hazards in workplaces impacted by winter weather. OSHA has resources available to help workers stay safe, including a new pamphlet on snow removal, a cold stress Quick Card in English and Spanish, and a Winter Weather webpage.
Other resources include:
- Cold Weather Toolbox Talk. Also available in Spanish.
- Cold Weather Hazard Alert. Also available in Spanish.
Stay Safe in the Heat
BAC members across the country regularly work in conditions outdoors in direct sunlight or in enclosed spaces that are not climate-controlled. This leads construction workers to suffer from heat-related illnesses and, in severe cases, death.
Before working in extreme heat, review the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) checklists:
- Overall Heat-Illness Prevention Program Checklist for Construction
- Daily Heat-Illness Prevention Checklist for Construction
Another resource available is a CPWR webinar with OSHA that provides an overview of OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP) and answers questions about preventing heat-related illnesses at work. Click here to watch.
More resources and information are available on CPWR's Heat Hazards page.
Wildfire Smoke is a Safety Hazard
Wildfires are common disasters that can spread quickly, particularly during dry conditions. With many in the northeast experiencing smoke from the wildfires in Canada, we wanted to make sure you are aware of OSHA’s Wildfires webpage that has additional resources addressing exposure to outdoor workers, including those from other agencies, such as:
- Get air quality data where you live: AirNow (airnow.gov)
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) website with resources focused on wildfire smoke: Outdoor Workers Exposed to Wildfire Smoke | NIOSH | CDC
- National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) resources on wildfires: Wildfires (nih.gov)
- California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) webpage on protecting outdoor workers: Protecting Outdoor Workers Exposed to Smoke from Wildfires (ca.gov)
- Washington Occupational Safety and Health Administration webpage on wildfire smoke: Wildfire Smoke (wa.gov)
- Smoke and Air Quality Health Advisory Information for Workers (Download PDF)
Upcoming Webinar on Ladder Safety
When: 7:00PM ET, Thursday, March 14, 2024
Join Safety & Health Director, Liliana Calderon, IMTEF Safety Director, Dave Wysocki, and IMTEF National Training Coordinator Pete Kohl as we discuss ladder safety. Learn how to choose the right ladder for the job, how to properly maintain a ladder, what to do if ladders aren't acceptable at your job site, and much more.
Past webinars include:
Contact BAC International Safety and Health Director Liliana Calderon with any suggestions on what trainings / refreshers you would like to see in the future.
The BAC Difference: Training
A major difference between a BAC craftworker and a non-union worker is our training. Safety is no different. During the first weeks of apprenticeship classes, our workers are OSHA 10 or 30 certified. Additional training – including asbestos training, lead abatement, and OSHA 500, 502, and 510 – is available for members, foremen, and union representatives as necessary / desired.
Members are also taught while training in their crafts to perform the work in the safest, most ergonomically-friendly way. For contractors, this leads to projects done with minimal delays due to accidents, and lower costs for insurance and violation fees.
Are you looking to grow your knowledge, or need a refresher for your certification? Click here to find out more about what trainings are currently available through the International Masonry Training and Education Fund.
Although the pandemic has abated because of vaccines, COVID-19 is still spreading through North America, causing severe illness and death for unvaccinated and immune-compromised people.
BAC members still need access to accurate information about how to protect yourself and your family, both on the job and at home.
Visit our COVID Resources page for more information. Continue to stay safe!
See Something, Say Something
It is the responsibility of every person at the worksite to work safely: from the contractors providing an environment that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of their workers, to members knowing the hazards and avoiding actions that would compromise their or their coworker’s safety.
Every worker has a right to come home from work everyday in the same physical condition as they left. If you are working in an environment you feel is unsafe, union or non-union, contact your local BAC office or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The life you save could be your own.