Preventable Construction Accidents on the Rise: Safety Remains a Priority

Preventable Construction SafetyAt Mountain Regional Equipment Solutions, as with many other companies in the industry, nothing is prioritized more than safety.  There is no amount of money that can be made to offset the detriment of injuries and fatalities on the job.  Believe it or not, about 5,000 construction workers are lost while on the job every year in the U.S. alone.  That accounts for about 12 people per day.  In recent months, that number has started to rise; and, for good measure, that has left many companies searching for new solutions to increase prevention efforts to get that number back on the decline.

This year, we have heard everything from a bridge collapse in Ohio, to an mishap with an excavator in California.  OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) is currently investigating the excavator accident, and it is believed to have been a preventable tragedy.  Furthermore, before the bridge collapsed in Ohio, demolition had been halted due to some of the steel girders being seen lifted up of off their bearings.  The concern was addressed with a simple remedy and was deemed safe, which was clearly not the case.  So, why are these accidents happening?  And, more importantly, what can we do to prevent them?

OSHA has been pivotal in helping to prevent fatalities on the job.  As high as the death toll is right now, before OSHA was created 43 years ago, it was estimated that 43,000 construction workers were killed per year in the U.S..  That's 38 people per day!  OSHA implemented a series of mandates and recommendations to bulk up safety on the job.  And, that includes everything from better protocol and proper mindset, to insisting on higher quality safety training and education.  It has been said that poor safety training has become one of the biggest culprits in recent years, and that is something that can't be ignored.  Some have argued for more comprehensive training, and the idea isn't farfetched at all.

Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA has been quoted saying: "Making a living shouldn't have to cost you your life.  Workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses are preventable.  Safe jobs happen because employers make the choice to fulfill their responsibilities and protect their workers."  The keyword that continues to be highlighted is "preventable," and we fully support the preventative attitude.  

According to Construction Safety Experts, an organization dedicated to construction safety, the five most hazardous dangers are: falls, scaffold collapse, electric shock, trench collapse, and impact.  Each hazard can be made to be safer, and the unions have the capability to make an immediate impact with centralized and experienced representatives.  Of course, many unionized laborers can be overlooked for cheaper non-union workers, including undocumented immigrants.  There isn't just one thing that can be seen as responsible for the recent increase in fatalities, and it's going to take a collected effort to make sure that number is back in decline.

Mountain Regional offer a series of active and passive safety products for use in the construction industry.  Active safety is meant to notify the user of danger, and passive safety is meant to monitor potential threats.  Both options can be utilized together to increase safety in the work place.  Simple implementations like the Greensight system or the Scan-Link system have been known to decrease fatal scenarios.  There is no such thing as too safe, and we want to do everything in our power to help with all dangerous situations.

No one likes talking about fatalities, but they need to be addressed so we can make strides toward a completely safe working environment.  And, with all of that said, we want to wish everyone a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving next week.  For more information on safety, visit www.osha.gov; and, for information on Active and Passive Safety Systems, please contact us today.

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