Working in construction can be dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t met. Contractors work with heavy machinery and unstable materials daily. Here are some facts to help you to visualize the importance of safety on a construction site.
1. About 20% Of Worker Fatalities per Year in Private Industry Were in Construction
Falls are one of the most common injuries sustained by laborers. Many work on ladders or scaffolding to repair roofing and siding. In fact, 42% of construction workers’ deaths involve falls.
To prevent falls, have a safety plan in place. Before starting a project, know what equipment you will use that day and properly inspect it. Also, provide employees with the proper safety gear, such as harnesses. Then train them on how to set up the equipment.
Electrocution or being hit by an object are other common injuries. These can result from faulty power lines or misusing equipment. Make sure all electrical equipment is properly grounded or double insulated. Also, before repairing a tool, make sure it is unplugged.
2. Businesses Spend $170 Billion a Year on Costs Associated With Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
While injuries primarily impact workers, they also affect the whole business. When you pay to help take care of your employees, it takes from the company’s total profits. There is then less money to pay for material costs, permits, and insurance. Saving money is critical since supply prices have risen. In fact, concrete expenses have increased by about 13%.
3. Implementing a Safety Program Can Reduce Injury and Illness Costs by 20-40%
Having daily safety talks is critical to ensure all employees are on the same page. The meeting should discuss relevant topics, such as how to operate the equipment. It should also discuss information relevant to the type of worker. For example, a construction crew will need to discuss working in colder climates. On the other hand, a warehouse crew will talk about safely using power lifts.
Safety meetings hold everyone responsible and keep workers focused. It’s also a good time to discuss any new updates to prevent miscommunication in the future. In addition, discussing any past incidents will help you learn from previous mistakes.
4. In 2019, the Median Days Away From Work After a Work Injury or Illness in the Construction Industry Was 13 Days
Work injuries can cause contractors to lose valuable time. Taking days off due to injury can cause financial strain. It can also impact their future performance, depending on the extent of the injury. With fewer workers, the business is less productive, losing profits.
Having more employees call off is an issue for the current staffing shortage. In fact, the industry needs 2.2 million more workers in the next three years to keep up with current demands. The construction industry plays a key role in supplying the housing market. As fewer properties are being built, housing prices continue to rise. So, it’s vital to prioritize safety and increase communication in the workplace.
5. OSHA’s Maximum Penalty for a “Serious” Violation Is $13,653 per Violation
If you don’t take safety seriously, you can receive hefty fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Paying these fines takes away money for quality building materials and employee compensation.
Therefore, it’s important to review the guidelines carefully. For example, only those employees qualified and trained can operate equipment and machinery. Also, you must supply protective equipment to all employees, including respirators. Being safe prevents workers’ injuries and reduces unnecessary expenses.
6. Employers Pay Almost $1 Billion a Week in Workers’ Compensation Costs Alone
Many employers may not consider the hidden costs of worker injuries. However, they can take away from a business’s overall profit margin. In addition, workers may not feel safe coming to work knowing these statistics. Having high compensation costs can also cause companies to lose prospective employees.
To prevent injuries, focus on having a good safety program in place. Look at online resources, such as OSHA, for tips and relevant articles. You also want to ensure that any new managers are properly trained on how to encourage safety on-site.
7. About 67% Of Construction Workers Feel Standards Are Higher for Productivity Than for Safety
Construction projects involve precise focus to ensure foundations and fixtures are properly installed. So, many employees feel like productivity is more important than their well-being. Profit is more often emphasized in daily meetings, while construction safety is less frequently discussed. This could lead to employees feeling nervous about speaking up about questionable conditions.
To prevent hidden injuries, encourage open communication. Also, make sure to check in with your employees’ mental health. With COVID-19, many people are facing added stress. Consider offering more wellness-based programs, like yoga or meditation classes.
8. There Were an Average of 42 Crane-related Deaths From 2011 to 2017
Cranes are dangerous objects that can lead to injury if not properly used. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring objects are securely attached when moving. Only qualified people should operate the device and should read the manual carefully. Also, perform regular inspections on the equipment and clear a pathway before travel.
Remember to have a signaler guide the operator. They can warn of potential hazards and notify the rest of the crew when the machine is in motion. When buying a lift, you want to make sure it’s best suited for the environment. For example, crawler treads and heavy lifts are better for outdoor settings.
9. In 2019, Construction Workers Aged 25-34 Were Most Likely to Sustain an Injury on the Job
This age group tends to be the most physically fit. So, they may handle more of the labor-intensive tasks, such as operating the forklift. However, these are more dangerous. They also may have less experience than older workers, leading to more mistakes. The proper training and assistance on complex jobs can prevent injuries.
10. Over 60% Of Construction Accidents Occur Within an Employee’s First Year of Work
Training is vital before a contractor can start working on projects. However, a lack of proper training in the first year can lead to injury. One way to improve these programs is to have them during business hours and make them mandatory. Having a mix of in-class and web-based training can help meet a variety of employees’ needs.
During the course, it’s important that employees feel comfortable asking questions. Also, make sure they have hands-on experience. Have them complete the task in a low-risk setting first.
Importance of Safety in Construction
Based on these stats, the construction industry can be dangerous. However many of these injuries can be prevented with simple safety measures. So, consider sharing this information with your employees.
Rose Morrison is a freelance writer who covers construction, home improvement, and contracting topics. She is also the managing editor of Renovated.com, a site dedicated to the latest trends in the home industry. She has a passion for innovative technologies that are making the home industry sustainable and efficient. Check out Renovated.com to see more of her work.