Construction Environmental Health and Safety
Construction is a high hazard industry with nearly 6.5 million people working at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the U.S on any given day. Examples include residential construction, bridge work, roadway paving, excavations, demolitions, and large scale painting jobs. Construction workers engage in many activities that may expose them to serious hazards, such as falling from platforms or rooftops, unguarded machinery, being struck by heavy construction equipment, electrocutions, silica dust, and asbestos.
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Employers MUST provide their employees with a workplace that does not have serious hazards and follow all relevant OSHA safety and health standards. All employers in the construction industry must also have injury and illness prevention programs. Contractors and employers who do construction work must comply with standards in 29 CFR 1926. Subpart C, General Safety and Health Provisions, as well as other specific sections of these standards, include the responsibilities for each contractor/employer to initiate and maintain injury and illness prevention programs, provide for a competent person to conduct frequent and regular inspections, and instruct each employee to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions and know what regulations are applicable to the work environment. Employees must be provided training in a language and vocabulary they can understand.
The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category for all industries. Potential hazards for workers in construction include:
- Falls (from heights);
- Trench collapse;
- Scaffold collapse;
- Electric shock and arc flash/arc blast;
- Failure to use proper personal protective equipment; and
- Repetitive motion injuries.
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
One in five worker deaths in 2013 were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” resulted in more than half (57.7%) the construction worker deaths in 2013*, BLS reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 478 workers’ lives in America every year.
- Falls — 302 out of 828 total deaths in construction in CY 2013 (36.5%)
- Struck by Object — 84 (10.1%)
- Electrocutions — 71 (8.6%)
- Caught-in/between — 21 (2.5%)
Ecothink group can assist construction companies in complying with Federal, state and city regulations and to identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards.. Ecothink group utilizes highly experienced safety engineers, certified safety professionals (CSPs) and certified industrial hygienists to effectively solve your EH&S construction challenges. Compliance services include:
- Health and Safety Plans (HASP)
- Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)
- Air monitoring
- Noise monitoring
- Onsite Safety Inspections / Safety Managers
- Walking/Working Surfaces
- Confined Space
- Electrical Safety
- Fall Protection