Why is Construction Safety So Important? This is the Critical Info You Need to Know:

         Ask anyone that’s worked for an extended period of time in the Construction Industry about accidents they’ve witnessed, and you’ll hear some doozies. When it happens to someone you know personally, it hits a little closer to home. However, it’s when you can actually see the effects of the accident on the victims themselves (or in many cases, the family they’ve left behind), that the gravity of the situation is felt deeply, as reality sets in. Statistics are but numbers until you meet the humans they represent.

         Gone now are the days when brave (or mad?) souls would break for lunch on the beams of the skyscrapers they were building, with a nonchalance that seems incomprehensible. Sandwiches are being eaten whilst coffee thermoses and jokes are being passed back and forth, the construction workers’ legs swinging in the abyss. What happens if a strong wind kicks up? Will all of these employees go home to their families tonight?

         We’ve come a long way since then, however some things remain the same. For instance, as can be imagined, falls are the #1 cause of deaths in the Construction Industry (including both Commercial Construction and Residential Construction). In fact, OSHA has a list of Construction’s “Fatal Four”.

         OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) governs the Construction Industry and lists the “Fatal Four” as follows:

OSHA goes on to state that an astounding 1 in 5 of all worker deaths that occur annually come from the Construction Industry. Based on their extensive research and accumulated statistics, they estimate that 545 American lives could be saved every year by simply eliminating the “Fatal Four”!

         If it is within our power to do so, we must take action to prevent this from repeating. It is our responsibility. Our obligation. Our duty.

         OSHA, is a surprisingly small agency, only employing around 2,200 agents that are responsible for monitoring approximately 8 Million jobsites. This translates to 130 Million workers, broken down further to equal about 59,000 workers for each, single Compliance Officer. That’s an awful lot of people whose health and safety are in one person’s hands.

         We must help pick up the slack, all of us in a position to do so. All Project Supervisors, Planning and Designing Coordinators, Construction Planners, Installation Work Coordinators, Business Owners, Foremen, Contractors, Construction Laborers, and anyone on the job that sees anything improper. All of us that can, should. Report it to the right channels, and follow up. Take Action! A preventable death takes its toll on the souls of everyone involved, especially those that did nothing, yet could’ve.

    There are several thousand Construction Workers that fall prey to non-fatal injuries on the job every year, as well. The age group most likely to be injured at work is the 25-34 year-olds. It is also estimated that construction site injuries account for about 15% of all Worker’s Compensation costs. Someone so young, injured so early, could have a catastrophic impact on your budget, not to mention their quality of life. Injury-related financial obligations can be long-term. Are you prepared to handle circumstances resulting from a workplace injury? Especially one that was preventable?

         From a financial position, it’s just good business to protect your workers. Otherwise, you’ll have citations, fees, lawsuits, Worker’s Comp, medical bills, the cost of halting or slowing a project, etc. The amount of headaches that can be avoided by taking safety precautions is worth it alone, from a purely selfish standpoint. Preventative measures are rarely as costly in the long run as damage control.

         Whatever motivates you, the benefits of investing in Construction Safety are undeniable. What changes will you be making? We’d love to know. Connect with us on LinkedIn to continue the conversation and for related updates!

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