The construction sector has been and currently is one of the most important industries across the United States. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous professions. In fact, 15 out of every 100,000 construction workers die as a result of construction-related accidents.
According to World Pipelines, a national search is now on to identify champions in design and construction health and safety risk management. The Association for Project Safety (APS) is launching an annual award ceremony that aims to spread awareness on the importance of construction safety and reduce deaths, accidents, and various health concerns.
“The APS awards are the only national awards to celebrate inspirational good practice in design and construction health and safety risk management,” said Lesley McLeod, Chief Executive of the APS. “They are always a time for celebration, but our awards are also much more than that — professionals and students put their best work forward and provide a living example of ways to make construction safer and healthier for everyone.”
There are three professional award categories: Health and Safety Initiative of the Year; Project of the Year; and CDM Duty Holder of the Year. Additionally, there is a separate competition for student designers studying a construction discipline.
Entries must be submitted by Friday, May 10 and the winners will be announced at the APS’s annual conference on September 4.
Here are some of the most common causes of construction accidents:
- Slips, trips, and falls — Out of 991 total construction-related fatalities in 2016, 384 (38.7%) were from slips, trips, and falls — by far the most common.
- Struck by an object — Objects striking construction workers caused nearly 100 deaths in 2016, accounting for nearly 10% of all workplace fatalities. Objects being dropped from up high, suspended lands coming loose, flying debris, and swinging (and rolling) loads all fall under this deadly category.
- Electrocutions — Though electrocution fatalities have decreased in recent years (300 seats in 2014 compared to only 82 deaths in 2016), it’s still a real threat to construction site workers across the United States. Construction organizations need to emphasize the importance of personal protection equipment (PPE) and safety training to avoid electrocution incidents.
- Vehicle incidents — Automotive incidents happen all over the country and can range from minor fender benders to fatal crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there are over 50,000 accidents every year related to towing alone. Clearly U.S. roadways are dangerous for any vehicle, but those dangers are often amplified on and near construction sites.
Additionally, based on the frequency, severity, and preventability of the illnesses, occupational lung diseases are the number one cause of occupation-associated illness in the United States. Here are some standards that are proven by OSHA that help saves lives within the construction sector:
- Fall Protection — 29 CFR 1926.501
- Hazard Communication Standard — 29 CFR 1910.1200
- Scaffolding — 29 CFR 1926.451
- Respiratory Protection — 29 CFR 1910.134
- Hazardous Energy Control — 29 CFR 1910.147
- Powered Industrial Trucks — 29 CFR 1910.178
- Ladders — 29 CFR 1926.1053
- Electrical — 29 CFR 1910.305
- Machinery and Machine Guarding — 29 CFR 1910.212
- Electrical Systems Design — 29 CFR 1910.303