Construction Site Dangers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) administers and enforces health and safety regulations in the workplace for most industries. Many of these regulations pertain to standards as they apply to construction, record-keeping, agriculture, and general industry.

Construction is a Dangerous Tradeconstruction work accidents

With construction once again booming in metro Atlanta, it is important for those involved in the construction industry to be aware of certain facts and figures regarding workplace accidents. There are four categories of fatalities that OSHA refers to as the “Fatal Four.” These include falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and “caught in between” accidents. The following statistics are a stark reminder of just how dangerous working in construction can be:

  • In 2013 828 or 20.2% of work related fatalities were in construction
  • The “Fatal Four” were responsible for 57.7% of construction related deaths
  • 478 lives would be saved with the elimination of “Fatal Four” hazards

Most Violated OSHA Standards

OSHA has identified 10 workplace safety standards that are most frequently violated. Among the top 3 are fall protection in construction, hazard communication in general industry, and the proper use of scaffolding in construction.

Duty to Have Fall Protection

Safety on the job site should always be priority one. When working on roofing, framing or other building structures, construction workers are commonly 2-4 stories up and sometimes much higher. A fall from this height would most certainly cause severe injury, if not a fatality. Fall protection as required by OSHA often includes the use of a harness and rope. Guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest systems are often used, as well.

Chemical Hazard Communication

The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, stated: ““Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious threats facing American workers today. Revising OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive.” These standards have been updated, and there is now a global system in place to label and classify chemicals for more streamlined hazard communication. Images are used to help convey the various hazards associated with hazardous chemicals.

General Requirements for Scaffolding

Scaffolding use in construction has specific guidelines that must be followed. These include the capability of supporting at least 4 times the maximum weight of the intended load, use of counterweights on suspended scaffolds for balance, and direct connections to a floor or roof for non-suspended scaffolding. In meeting each of these requirements, there are additional standards for counterweights, suspension ropes, and other elements involved.

Maintaining compliance with all OSHA construction safety standards may not always be easy or cheap, but it is imperative when lives are on the line. Should you or someone you know be the unfortunate victim of a construction or work related accident as a result of OSHA non-compliance, contact our Atlanta personal injury attorney offices for a free consultation.