OSHA Works to Push New Directive, Protecting Construction Workers

Officials with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have decided to extend their safety enforcement measures on the residential construction industry.

Officials have decided to continue the efforts for another three months. Now, enforcement will go on through the middle of December. During this time, officials will be providing work areas with free on-site compliance measures and will conduct inspections at work sites nationwide.
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Our Asheville workers’ compensation lawyers understand that there were close to 1,200 people who were killed in the construction industry in 2007. This was by far the most fatalities recorded in any industry category. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an additional 140,000 people were injured in this industry. The incident rate stood strong at 190 per 100,000 employees.

The fatalities among these workers has been on the rise. From 2006 to 2007, the number of fatalities among employees in construction of buildings increased by more than 10 percent. As the economy continues to recover — and particularly the housing market — industry watchers expect a boom in residential housing construction.

Top Causes for Accidents in Construction Industries:

-Falls to a lower level.

-Trench collapse.

-Scaffold fall or collapse.

-Neglect to wear proper safety gear.

-Electrocution.

-Falls.

-Arc flash.

Unfortunately, falls continue to be one of the most common hazards or accident risks in the construction industry. These kinds of accidents can happen during the simple act of climbing up a ladder or just walking at elevation. There were more than 600 workers killed by falls to the same or lower level in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There were more than 210,000 workers injured in these same kinds of accidents.

What might be most alarming is that these kinds of accidents can be prevented. All it takes is a little bit of preparation and a little bit of awareness.

OSHA officials have been working long hours to make sure that employers understand and are complying with the new directive. Since October of last year, roughly 2,500 site visits have been conducted, nearly 930 training sessions have been held and close to 440 presentations given in the fight to reduce the risks of fall accidents in the residential construction industry. OSHA headquarters and its regional offices have also been able to conduct about 1,000 outreach activities on this new directive. Officials will be working with employers nationwide to make sure everyone understands the additions and that compliance is more readily achievable.

To help you to get started, OSHA has created and provided and entire web page on Fall Protection in Residential Construction. This page has useful, up-to-date information on how to protect workers from fall accidents in the residential construction industry.

If you or someone you love has injured in a work accident, contact the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for legal advice regarding your case. Call 1-800-887-1965 today!

More Blog Entries:

Celebrating Labor Rights Week and Protecting Workers Along the Way, North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 28, 2012

Summer Increasing Youth Work Nationwide, Accident Risks Up Too!, North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 23, 2012

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