The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America commissioned a study to look into the causes of fatalities in the construction industry with the intention of learning new methods of preventing worker fatalities. The results may surprise you.
With an industry always looking for new ways to develop strategies to reduce workplace injuries and fatalities, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America asked the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech to conduct a deep-dive analysis of fatality reports in an effort to provide more detailed information on trends to the construction industry.
The data used in this study comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS’s Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) program provides annual information on the rate and number of work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries, and how these statistics vary by incident, industry, geography, occupation, and other variables.
This study is unique and innovative in many aspects >>
Fatality trending has been historically challenging because of the relatively small number of data points (which is also a good thing), so this study analyzed three consecutive years of national data and then patterns did emerge.
Here are some findings from this important study:
These graphs show the details for some of the findings listed above:
The final report for this study has been published and is a 30-page PDF document that anyone can download and view.
If you are interested, we encourage you to take a look at this study. It’s very easy to read and it is presented in an understandable and logical way. At the end of every section there is a list of Potential Actions that any employer can take to help prevent falls.
For example, because the study shows that the highest percentage of fatalities occurs at the noon hour, it may be beneficial to schedule additional toolbox talks or safety meetings around noon, and particularly on Wednesdays and Thursdays as those days of the weeks also have higher fatality rates.
With Falls continuing to be the top cause of fatalities, all organizations are encouraged to continue fall prevention awareness campaigns but also focus efforts on prevention through design. (Meaning, what can be done to ensure workers are not placed in a situation where there is a possibility a fall could occur.)
Since summer is the riskiest season for construction workers, the study provides several recommendations that companies can choose to implement to encourage safety on the job. While work hours may peak in the summer time, so too should the toolbox talks and safety meetings, especially on summer-specific subjects like preventing heat stress, hydration, and proper warm-weather PPE.
Adding regular safety meetings to your company’s safety and health program is guaranteed to improve workplace safety, boost team morale, lower insurance premiums, strengthen safety compliance and lower the risk of safety violations. Holding regular safety meetings with your crews, teams and staff is also the best way to ensure that your company is off to a great start meeting and exceeding OSHA’s compliance standards.
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