Construction sites are dangerous places to work. From the ground up, every level of the job poses unique risks. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers construction work to be one of the most hazardous environments for work-related injuries and deaths.
In fact, the risks are so great that OSHA created a phrase to encompass the most common construction accidents: “The Fatal Four.” Every year, thousands of construction workers are seriously injured, and over 800 die as a result of the fatal four: electrocution, falling debris, equipment compression, and falls.
- Electrocution and falling debris. Injuries suffered from electrocution and falling debris each account for nearly eight percent of construction work fatalities.
- Equipment compression. Injuries sustained from being caught in or compressed by equipment account for almost five percent of construction site deaths.
- Falls. Impact injuries sustained from falling off ladders, scaffolding, and beams account for a staggering 40 percent of all construction fatalities.
Raising Awareness to Decrease Fall Accident Impact
In an attempt to help lower the fatality rates of construction falls, OSHA has instigated a new campaign called “Safety Stand-Down.” The purpose of this campaign is to encourage employers to speak to their workers about:
- High-risk factors of construction site falls.
- Safety protocols available to decrease fall risks.
- The importance of paying attention to prevent injuries.
- The need to promote fall prevention awareness.
A safety stand-down is a voluntary event open to anyone who wants to help raise awareness and lower fall rates. Severe injuries and fatalities continue to pile up on construction sites as a result of poor communication, improper safety protocols, and lack of awareness. The OHSA's Stand-Down campaign hopes to change this by encouraging open communication about and awareness of workplace safety issues.
The 2015 Stand-Down was a great success, reaching more than 2.5 million workers, or a quarter of the construction workers in the U.S. This year, OSHA wants to spread the campaign even further across the country to reach more at-risk workers. The eventual hope is that someday soon, every single construction worker will have the information and tools to prevent fall accidents and ultimately take falls off The Fatal Four list.
Promoting Awareness and Understanding
Let us know your thoughts by leaving your opinions and questions in the comment section. Not only will you help us learn more about societal opinions, but your experiences could also help our readers. Many construction employees are in denial about the dangers of their jobs. However, a few words from a fellow worker can go a long way in helping them better understand their risks and the need for active fall-prevention awareness.
For more information on construction accident risks, workers’ compensation options, and injury prevention, feel free to browse our extensive library of blogs and frequently asked questions. If you’re interested in a more personal discussion, contact our office today to schedule a complimentary and confidential review with local attorneys Frank R. Johnson and J. Lance Gilbert. We’re waiting to help you.