Something is always under construction, be it a road or building. Workers scale ladders and walk along rooflines sometimes over 15 feet up with only a rope to secure them to the structure. Construction sites, big or small, use massive machinery to complete the work.
Construction is an inherently dangerous industry. In a 2018 report released by the California Department of Industrial Relations and the California Division of Occupation Safety and Health, construction came in second to transportation as the most dangerous occupation.
Constructions “Fatal Four”
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration releases fatality and injury statistics every year for different industries. Out of the fatalities in the private sector, construction contributed to over 21% of those deaths. In 2018, OSHA announced the leading causes of construction workers’ deaths.
- Struck by object
These four accidents were responsible for more than half of all construction worker fatalities. Falls came in first and accounted for 338 out of the 1,008 total deaths in construction in 2018.
OSHA states that eliminating the fatal four will save lives every year. For this to happen, employers and employees must follow safety guidelines regulated by OSHA. A few of the standards cited for violations in 2019 were:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Control of hazardous energy
- Respiratory protection
- Eye and face protection
Wearing protective gear and following posted warnings while on the construction site may prevent disastrous outcomes. Employers must keep a maintained and updated list of all hazardous materials readily available at the worksite.