Monthly Archives: November 2017

12 Ways to Prevent Sickness & Injuries This Winter

Every season has unique challenges, and winter is no exception. Here are 12 easy tips and takeaways to keep you one step ahead of the cold and prevent sickness and injuries. 

Want more information? Download our complete guide to winter construction site prep


Preventing Injury

1. Update Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for colder weather. Prioritize non-slip footwear, gloves, jackets/coats, and hard-hat liners.

This article from Construct Connect has additional information about winter PPE. 

2. Reduce worker fatigue and keep energy levels up. Limit activities that create swelling or reduce circulation, and provide heated break spaces. Keep water and warm fluids available to workers to prevent dehydration and boost energy. 

3. Keep areas clear. Make sure pathways, work areas, and stairways are clear from snow and other items that could cause an injury. 

4. Improve poorly lit areas such as pathways, entries, and low-clearance ceilings. Reflective lights can be useful. 

Need lighting solutions for your jobsite? Contact us!

5. Apply tread tape to areas that may freeze or be slippery, such as stairs, doorways, ramps, and handrails. 

6. Label areas that are hazardous in icy or cold conditions, such as doors, parking lots, and staircases. 


Preventing Illness 

7. Encourage workers to regularly exercise and prioritize sleep. Regular exercise and 7+ hours of sleep can boost the immune system. The choice to exercise should be left up to the employee, but you can remind them of the benefits. 

8. Encourage workers to avoid smoking if possible. Smoking increases the risk of catching viruses. 

9. Don’t touch your face, and encourage employees to avoid touching their faces. People who occasionally touch their eyes and nose are more likely to develop frequent upper respiratory infections, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health. 

10. Keep health-related reminders clear and visible to employees. One example is hand-washing signs. 


Overall Tips

11. Communicate emergency procedures to workersIf your workers do fall ill or experience injury, a plan can keep your jobsite on-task or protect the injured employee. 

12. Encourage employees to enact a buddy system to make sure each employee is self-monitoring and self-reporting for health and well-being issues. 


We hope these tips assist you to prevent sickness this winter! Interested in learning more about keeping your team safe and your equipment in tip-top shape? Download our complete Winter Prep Guide

Want more winter weather tips and tricks? Check out our resources section

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in January 2023. 

The Cause and Effects of the New ANSI A92 Standards

Big changes have been announced for the regulation of certified boom and scissor type platform machines. ANSI has announced new standards that will affect rental fleets, rental customers and operators. The new ANSI A92 standards will include A92.22 for safe use, A92.20 for design and A92.24 for training. The new standards are replacing prior ANSI standards A92.3, A92.5, A92.6 and A92.8 which covered manually propelled aerial, booms, scissors and under-bridge inspection machines. The standards dictate stability, testing and safety requirements to manufacturers so that consumers are provided certified and safe machines.

Hugg & Hall has assembled further information to expand on our prior article regarding these changes in order to assist with the education and implementation of the new standards. Hugg & Hall hopes this will help with the adaptation and education of the new ANSI changes.

The Cause of the Standards

ANSI and their Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Standards Authority (CSA), are moving toward equipment design standards that will bring North American equipment up-to-date with the current standards implemented in Europe to reduce global variances in the industry.

Some Changes & Effects Associated With the Standards

  • Terminology

Much of the prior compliance terminology, as used for training purposes, will be updated. There will be 31 new definitions and 15 changes to prior definitions. A significant change to the standard terminology is the update of Aerial Work Platforms (AWP) to Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP). Another relevant update will be the use of the term “operation manual” versus the prior used “operator’s manual.”

An important terminological methodology change will be the use of groups and types to define MEWP categories. For example, “Group A” will be used to define MEWPs with vertical platforms. “Group B” will be used to define booms. Examples of the use of types of MEWPs include: “Type 1” to define static MEWPs, “Type 2” to define mobile from ground control MEWPs and “Type 3” to define mobile from platform MEWPs. Type and group terminology can be combined to further define MEWPs. For example, “1A” can be used to describe a vertical platform, static MEWP.

  • Platform Load Sensing

Perhaps the most notable change to prior ANSI A92 standards is the new requirement of load sensing on aerial equipment. The prior standard required the machine operator to ensure that the machine was not loaded beyond capacity, as communicated by the manufacturer. The new standard requires manufacturers to incorporate load sensing technology on each machine which restricts overloading by disabling elevating functions when overloaded. The load sensing device will sound an alarm when overloaded and disable some functions of the machine to prevent unsafe use.

Scissor lifts are expected to be modified to generally implement the new platform load sensory standard via angle sensors, pressure transducers or load sensing pins. Boom lifts are expected to be modified to generally implement the new standard via load cells.

  • Wind Force

Another significant adjustment to the prior standards are further regulations regarding wind force. Wind force is assessed more aggressively under the new standards. Though requirements will vary for each machine, standards for scissors and vertical masts have more drastic updates due to having narrower slab units. Some units previously cleared for outdoor use may be re-organized as indoor-only machines due to unsafe wind force ratings. Boom lifts may be required to adjust/add weight for safe use in regards to wind force, but should be less affected than scissors and vertical masts.

  • Dynamic Terrain Sensing

Prior standards have been updated to include terrain sensing so drive and boom functions will be disabled if not within safety and terrain/slope limits. Stability calculations have been updated and may, largely, affect the difference between air and foam-filled tires. Due to feasibility issues, foam filled tires are expected to become standard procedure for RT scissors and RT booms.

  • Railings and Platform Entries

There have been updates to platform railing and entrance gate standards prior to updated A92 standards. Additional height standards for railings on scissors is the new guideline which requires the railings to be foldable as the added height results in scissors no longer fitting through standard door heights.

As well as added height to railings, entrance gates have undergone an update. Flexible devices, such as chains (which were the previous norm), are no longer permitted to be used as platform gates on scissors and toe boards are required to be present on all areas of platforms. This will plausibly result in half height, full height or saloon style gates on scissors. However boom lifts will generally keep the prior standardized gates but, again, toe boards are required to cover the entrance area.


While the financial effects of the new standards are unclear, it’s possible that product prices may increase to adjust features for compliance. However, the full financial effects are unclear at this early-stage.

Silica Dust And The New OSHA Standard

Silica Dust & The New OSHA Standard








The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has enacted new standards to protect workers from the dangers of silica dust. We understand that contractors, equipment companies and other impacted groups may not be enthusiastic about more regulation and procedural changes, so we’ve assembled some information to assist you through the adjustment and to provide you with the information and resources that you need.

1. What is Changing Because of the New Regulations

Silica is a common crystallized mineral found in the ground. Sand, stone, concrete and mortar all contain crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is also used to make products including: glass, pottery, ceramics, brick and artificial stone. Particles of respirable crystalline silica is created when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, block and mortar. Workers are exposed to crystalline silica, or silica dust, when conducting activities such as sandblasting, sawing brick or concrete, sanding or drilling into concrete walls, grinding mortar, manufacturing brick, concrete blocks, stone countertops or ceramic products, hydraulic fracturing, foundry work and cutting or crushing stone. About 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to silica at work, according to OSHA.

Workers exposed to silica dust particles are at an increased risk of developing the following diseases, according to OSHA:Silicosis, an incurable lung disease that can lead to disability and death.

  • Silicosis, an incurable lung disease that can lead to disability and death.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Kidney disease.

2. What is Changing Because of the New Regulations

The new standards may seem daunting but we will try to simplify them as much as possible. Basically, responding to the dangerous effects of silica dust, OSHA has issued two new respirable crystalline silica standards: One for construction and one for general industry/maritime. The construction standard began implementation on September 23 and the general industry/maritime standard will begin implementation on June 23, 2018.

Simply put, there are three paths to complying to the new construction standard which requires workers not be exposed to more than 50 µg/m3 of silica dust in an eight-hour period (this is down from the prior standard of 250 µg/m3).

  • The first path is through complying via the standardized Table 1 method, which is a prescribed method of controls that is commercially available and easy to use. Please find a copy of the standardized Table 1 here:
  • The second path is via performance or objective data to document that workers are in compliance with the 50 µg/m3 exposure limit.
  • The third requires periodically testing for a particular application to validate if the user falls under the permissible 50 µg/m3 exposure limit.

Additional requirements include the below. Please see OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1153 for a full listing of requirements.

  • Keeping a written exposure control plan.
  • Designating a key competent person.
  • Compliant worker training
  • .Restriction of housekeeping practices.
  • Written records of trainings, control plans, etc.

There are a few additional methods for controlling dust inhalation, as recommended by OSHA:

  • Use concrete saws with a built-in system which applies water to the saw blade to limit the amount of silica dispersed in the air.
  • Use ventilation and vacuum systems with a hood surrounding the grinding wheel and suction capabilities which captures dust at the grinding point. Other features that should be included are: a 1.5-to-2 in.-diameter vacuum exhaust hose, a high-efficiency particulate air filter (which are recommended as an alternative to compressed air systems while cleaning surfaces) and a static pressure gauge.
  • Use a smaller wheel or less aggressive tool and use chipping versus grinding features to reduce silica dust exposure.
  • Use ground-fault circuit interrupters and sealable electrical connectors for electrical tools and equipment.

If none of these methods can be used, workers will be required to use respiratory protection and be trained on the appropriate use and maintenance of the respiratory systems used.

3. The Effect of the Silica Regulations

A major effect of these new regulations will be updated inventory by stores and rental agencies. The following products may gradually become available by stores in order to assist clients/contractors with OSHA compliance.

  • Products featuring wet solution systems which provide water delivery for limited silica exposure.
  • Suitable respirators.
  • Vacuums featuring: 99 percent filter efficiency, filter-cleaning mechanisms and 25 cfm of suction per inch of blade diameter for hand-held grinders.
  • Dust collecting accessories including: shrouds, hollowed-out drill bits, vacuum adapters and spare vacuum hoses.
  • Supporting information with products to assist with compliance procedures.

While the financial effects of the new regulations are unclear, it’s possible that product prices may increase to adjust features for OSHA-compliance. However, the full financial effects are unclear at this early-stage. Although adjusting to new regulations can be burdensome, the safety of workers is the foremost priority and there are many resources available to companies/groups.

10 Quick Ways to Winterize Your Equipment

Even people who love winter don’t love its impact on construction sites. Snow and freezing temps can cause huge delays and damage your equipment. We’ve got ten quick and easy tips for winterizing equipment so you can start enjoying the snow again! 

Want more information on how to keep your jobsite safe during winter weather? Download our complete guide to winter construction site prep

1. Use weather-appropriate oil and coolant

It’s a good idea to switch to a low-viscosity oil before winter. They are thinner and flow faster than a high-viscosity oil. In cold temps, low-viscosity oils provide better startup protection for your equipment. The faster your oil reaches your engine components, the less wear on the engine. 

Your coolant ratios can also affect your engine negatively in the winter. Typically, the recommended ratio of coolant to water is 50/50, but this ratio is more likely to freeze because of the high water content. A 70/30 ratio can help prevent freezing.

Check out this coolant article if you have additional questions about winter coolant levels. 

2. Clean your equipment prior to storing

Dirt, mud, snow, and other contaminants can harden on equipment. Cleaning helps keep your equipment in good shape. Pay special attention to the engine bay, undercarriage, wheel hubs, breaks, and exposed areas. These are vulnerable to damage. 

3. Properly maintain and store batteries for the colder months

If you’re using your equipment during winter, verify that the battery electrolyte is filled to the indicated level. Clean the terminal of the battery to prevent it from slowly draining. Never charge a frozen battery, as this may cause it to explode

If you’re not using your equipment, remove the battery and store it in a clean, dry area. Leave it connected to a battery maintainer to ensure it stays charged. 

4. Protect your tires

Lower temperatures reduce tire pressure. Always check the pressure and inspect tires for wear and tear. If possible, consider using track-mounted equipment in the colder months. 

5. Store your equipment 

Reducing moisture is one of the top priorities when you’ve chosen to store your equipment. Your storage site should be enclosed with a concrete floor, not a dirt floor, to reduce moisture. Keep the windows of any vehicle cabins cracked to allow air to circulate. This helps reduce mold and moisture buildup in the cabin. You can take rodent-resistance measures by adding a ball of steel wool in the exhaust pipe and air intake openings and placing mothballs inside cabins. Always check that all pest deterrents are removed before operation. 

6. Maintain your fuel tank

Maintaining the fuel tank prevents condensation inside the tank and fuel lines. Fuel treatments thaw frozen fuel filters, liquefy fuel, and remove moisture from the tank and lines. Keep a spare filter available for your convenience. 

7. Remember to grease

Maintain all grease points, even if your equipment isn’t in use. Moisture is your enemy in the winter, and greasing prevents moisture buildup and damage to your equipment. Manufacturers recommend using low-temperature lubricants during the colder months. 


8. Check fluids

Regularly check fluid levels and top off when necessary. If your engine oil is thick or sooty, change the oil before storing or using it in winter. Antifreeze levels are particularly important to check regularly. 

9. Conduct routine maintenance, even if the vehicle won’t be used 

Take advantage of the off-season to address any maintenance issues and examine equipment for potential issues. Preventative maintenance can help prevent downtime during the busier months. 

10. Monitor diesel exhaust fluid for freezing

If your equipment is using Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), make sure you have a way to heat and thaw it. DEF will freeze at 10 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. 

If you or your company need any additional resources, Hugg & Hall is here to help! Contact our service department if you have any questions about winterizing equipment.

Interested in learning more about keeping your team safe and your equipment in tip-top shape? Download our complete Winter Prep Guide!


Want more winter weather tips and tricks? Check out our resources section

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and was updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in December 2022.