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Study that Says LEED Workers Face Higher Risks Might be Flawed

Post Time:Dec 14,2011Classify:Industry NewsView:536

A study that claims construction crews working on environmentally friendly projects suffer more falls than workers on traditional projects, might be misleading, glass industry experts say.

 

The study,

 

"Green construction means new and modified building materials with different handling requirements," says Mike Burke, product sales specialist at Edgetech I.G. Inc. in Cambridge, Ohio. "At some construction sites this may mean larger glass, thicker glass and insulating glass units rather than single lites of annealed glass. The additional weight of laminated glass and insulting glass units with one or more air spaces can be deceiving."

 

Construction workers must be trained on the unique requirements of handling specialty glass, Burke says. "In addition to standard construction site personal protective equipment (PPE), they must utilize cut-resistant PPE to reduce and minimize lacerations," he says.

 

"One of the main results of the study says that workers working on green projects suffered more cuts and abrasions than those working on traditional projects," says Rick De La Guardia, president of DLG Engineering in South Miami, Fla. "The basis for this finding, a process called dumpster diving, was not only too narrow but the effects of this activity were successfully mitigated by some of the workers themselves," he says. "Dumpster diving is the process where workers improperly mix recyclables materials in with general garbage in the project dumpster and then have to dive into the dumpster and retrieve the recyclables to properly sort them out. Mitigation procedures were also not taken into account for the areas that had the highest probability of increased injuries."

 

De La Guardia calls the study flawed. He commends: It is based primarily on interviews, focused only on one geographical region (Colorado), focused only on large projects (over $10M), and never actually quantified its results, he says.


"In choosing Colorado, were the effects on workers due to possible decreased oxygen levels and increased fatigue due to working at such high altitudes taken into account, depending on where in Colorado the subject projects were located?" De La Guardia asks. "In choosing large-scale projects, were the effects of an increased number of workers operating side by side or under increased pressure to finish the project within the deadline taken into account?

 

"Working on green projects can be as safe as working on conventional projects even with the increased opportunity for injury due to repetition of tasks and longer duration of tasks with the proper training and mitigation techniques," De La Guardia concludes.

Source: www.usgnn.comAuthor: shangyi

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