The construction industry has seen a recent increase in fatalities on job sites, and members across the industry have now come together this week to raise awareness about the importance of safety in the workplace in an effort to turn that trend around.
Leaders from 31 construction firms across the globe, representing the Construction Industry Safety Group and the Incident and Injury Free CEO forum, announced the first-ever industry-wide “Safety Week,” which kicked off May 4 and runs through Saturday.
According to a press release, Safety Week 2014’s mission is to eliminate worker injury by bringing people throughout the construction industry to share safety ideas and best practices that can save lives and prevent injuries, in addition to inspiring the entire construction workforce “to make the commitment to be pioneers on promoting a strong safety culture on every job site, every day.”
According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 806 workers were killed on construction jobsites in 2012, a 9 percent increase over the previous year.
Wayne Daigle, health and safety/glazing coordinator with Finishing Trades Institute of Southern New England Inc. (FTISNE) from District Council 11, says 30 to 40 percent of injuries and fatalities can be attributed to falls, something of which glaziers may be familiar if they don’t exercise proper safety measures working with heights.
“It’s being aware of your surroundings—who’s working above you, who’s working below you,” adds Daigle. “Sometimes there’s a sense of urgency to get the job done, and with that, people make mistakes. It’s always important to stop and think about what you’re doing.”
Daigle also asserts the importance of “good housekeeping on the job.”
“Often times, accidents due to slips, trips and falls are the result of people not taking care of debris they’re leaving behind on a daily basis,” he says.
Recent studies have shown an uptick in the construction industry, particularly in the nonresidential sector, and with that expected increase in work comes an increase in risk. According to the aforementioned report, every year, more than 90,000 individuals are injured on construction job sites across the U.S.
“The construction industry is experiencing rapid growth, and we need to make sure that growth does not result in more workers being hurt and killed,” says Jim Maddux, director of OSHA directorate of construction. “As new workers and new companies join the industry, we need to make sure contractors build safety into every construction project and every worker has the equipment and training to do the work safely.”
For more information visit the Safety Week 2014 website. www.safetyweek2014.com.
Check out the infographic below, courtesy of Compliance and Safety, on safety in the workplace.