Creating a conducive working environment for construction site workers and laborers is a prerequisite that cannot be compromised upon. The need to offer an environment where workers will feel safe and secure will be best comprehended by captains of the construction industry. However, almost all employers belonging to the construction will readily agree that the responsibility of keeping workers safe during work) is a complicated task. They’ve to keep abreast of a surfeit of laws to avoid getting caught on the wrong side of the law.
For an employer in the infrastructure sector having at least 15-20 workers on the payroll, it is extremely crucial to remain updated on construction safety facts and figures. Construction safety updates would relate to significant changes and amendments, administrative reports, and important figures.
Construction Safety Week 2017 was observed from 1st May-5th May. A few of the most popular anecdotes revolving around figures and data pertaining to workers’ security in the construction industry have been enumerated in the following paragraphs.
Going by a triennial study on construction safety carried out by the ‘Associated General Contractors of America’, businesses and firms employing less than or at least 10 persons accounted for 47% of the fatalities at building/construction sites.
As per data released by BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) the proportion of fatalities in the private sector witnessed a 4% rise in the financial year 2014-2015. BLS also reported that the total number of deaths and grievous injuries that occurred at the construction worksites in that year (2014-2015) was the maximum since 2008.
Each year, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) makes public a list of the topmost 10 cited violation categories pertaining to construction safety. Fall protection violations continued to top the list of infringements for the 6th consecutive year starting from 2011. Out of the ‘total cited violations’ reported in 2011 (44,180), fall protection violations accounted for 16% (7,319) of that figure.
Though the total number of cited violations plummeted substantially in 2016, the percentage share of fall protection violations increased by 4% (6,906 out of a total of 35, 019). Hazard communication and scaffolding violations ranked 2nd and 3rd in terms of the total number of violations.
Construction workers including cement masons, plasterers, bricklayers, and granite workers are currently exposed to a maximum of 250 micrograms of silica dust for every cubic meter. When the new conventions framed by OSHA, pertaining to a maximum permissible concentration of silica dust, are implemented by September 2017, that number will come down to 50mcg for each cubic meter.
The above figure represents the reduction in the number of mishaps, illnesses, and injuries across all the industrial segments in 2014-2015 as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Such accidents and injuries were at its minimum in the construction sector for the reported year since 2002.
The aforementioned figure is the total number of lives (of construction workers) saved till date from the day ‘Occupational Safety and Health Act was implemented in 1970. This statistic was revealed by AFL-CIO in its current yearly report on construction safety.
Picture Credit: dimitrisvetsikas1969