According to 2020 OSHA data, there were 976 construction-related fatalities. Of those 88 fatalities included construction supervisors, making it clear that safety awareness is critical for everyone on a project site and not just for tradespersons. In total, OSHA reports that about 20% of all worker fatalities were in the construction industry — accounting for one in five of all worker deaths.
The good news, though, is that with an increased focus on safety, the construction industry has dramatically improved and, overall, worker injuries and illnesses have decreased from about 11 incidents per 100 workers to about 3 incidents per 100 workers since 1972. While this helps demonstrate the value of proactive safety awareness programs, the construction industry remains, by its nature, an inherently hazardous occupation.
Training workers remains critically important, including a particular focus on OSHA’s “Fatal Four” – – OSHA’s top hazards of construction most commonly resulting in death on a job site. They include: 1) falls; 2) struck-by hazards; 3) electrocution; and 4) caught-in or caught-between hazards. There are many ways to train workers on these and the many other safety hazards of the construction industry. These include well-planned initial and remedial training and regular “toolbox” talks for workers.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility and anyone seeing anything unsafe should take prompt action to report what they see and allow those responsible to resolve the safety issue. Always pay attention to your surroundings and always wear the safety gear appropriate to your activities on a job site. Be connected. Be supported. Be safe. #ConstructionSafetyWeek2022.