It’s no secret that working in construction is extremely dangerous. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it’s the most dangerous industry and accounts for one in every five worker deaths.
The construction industry is responsible for 20.6% of private industry fatalities. Sadly, over half of the injuries are caused by human error. But people can always be trained and incentivized.
Kicking into the new year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a fresh set of guidelines to prevent further loss of quality life.
OSHA’S FRESH SET OF RULES AND REGULATIONS
The strongest push for implementing safety shows in a significant increase in fine penalties. Starting August 1 workplace safety regulations fines will be increased by 78%.
The most serious violation fines have increased from $7,000 to $12,471. On top of that, willfully repeated violation fines will move from $70,000 to $124,709.
That civil penalties should provide a “credible deterrent that influences behavior far and wide” has become the ruling belief.
THE DANGERS OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Swinging cranes, heavy supplies, and loud noises don’t exactly paint a picture of safety. In addition to the obvious dangers, there are invisible threats such as handling electricity or maneuvering hazardous materials. Every project site presents an extremely high-risk environment.
For laborers with a 45-year career, there’s a 1-in-200 chance of death. Recent OSHA studies provide a breakdown of top causes for the looming death rate. The following are known as the “Fatal Four” in construction:
- Falls – 40%
- Electrocutions – 8.2%
- Struck by objects – 8.1%
- Caught-in-betweens – 4.3%
One in ten construction workers are injured each year. Several injury statistics are quite surprising. For example, while falls comprise the top 40% of construction injury, standard fall protection is also the most violated of OSHA rules.
If death rates weren’t scary enough, workers who stay in for over 40 years have a 75% chance of incurring a disabling injury.
Working in construction is deadly, and most occupational incidents result from human error. A startling 60% of all incidents happen within a new recruit’s first year. This statistic screams of needed reform in construction training.
Safety can be improved and human error largely eradicated with safer methods of situation rehearsals such as developing immersive reality technologies.
EMPLOYERS’ FINANCIAL MOTIVATIONS FOR WORKER SAFETY
OSHA is the main federal agency in charge of enforcing health and safety legislation. Now they’re cracking down on the businesses who don’t follow safety regulations.
Most companies will prioritize safety not only for ethical morals, but also for pure profit reasoning. If employers can enforce safety regulations, preventing a few unnecessary incidents here and there, they would save a great deal of money.
Aside from worker compensation and hospital bills, there’s court costs and labor loss to be avoided.
While the industry safety conversation is running, safety experts have expressed the need for increased education. Instead of punishing those who mess up, they suggest placing more effort into training them the right way.
While there are mixed opinions across the board, the focus on safety will benefit construction crews. With exciting immersive reality trends for safety training, the dangerous world of construction has great potential to be revolutionized.