|February 5, 2014|
Previously published on January 30, 2014
In today’s increasingly competitive market and amid the growing pressure to finish projects ahead of schedule and under budget, it’s easy to let safety issues slide, despite the best of intentions. But injuries happen when you least expect it, and with ever increasing regulation, construction companies will need to remain vigilant about worker safety in 2014 and beyond. OSHA will be increasing its focus, and companies need to be prepared.
In OSHA’s newly reported statistics, nearly 20% of worker fatalities in private industry were in construction and the leading causes of death on construction sites were falls, followed by workers struck by objects, electrocuted, or caught in or between things on a worksite. Falls alone accounted for 36% of construction worker fatalities in 2012. Given the danger, it’s no surprise that fall protection is number one on OSHA’s 2013 list of the Top Ten Most Frequently Cited Violations:
1. Fall Protection
2. Hazard Communication
4. Respiratory Protection
5. Electrical: Wiring
6. Powered Industrial Trucks
9. Electrical: Systems Design
10. Machine Guarding
In fact, three of the top ten—fall protection, scaffolding, and ladders—are of particular importance to the construction industry, and each of these OSHA regulations has detailed standards for different construction projects. Going into 2014, contractors should check their safety standards against current OSHA regulations for these areas.