Are you a construction worker? Think you know the proper procedures to prevent injuries and fatalities when you are on a site? Even if you think you know basic safety procedures, it’s good to have OSHA training for construction workers to be on the smart side of caution.
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Since the 1970s, the federal agency has focused on training and safety standards to reduce workplace hazards. Their mission has worked successfully. Over the decades, OSHA has reduced job fatalities by 66 percent.
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries, primarily because of four main hazards:
- Caught in / between
Falls are the leading cause of death on construction sites. They occur from slick surfaces, improper scaffolding, holes or skylights and roofs with unprotected edges. Improper ladder use, a common problem, results in hundreds of injuries or fatal falls every year. Working during rain and wind, lacking proper training and working alone at high elevations also can cause falls.
A caught-in or between hazard happens when an employee is squeezed, caught, crushed or pinched between one or more objects like heavy machinery. OSHA cites unstable walls or structures at excavation sites, which can collapse and bury workers, as critical risks in the construction industry. Employees often are not properly trained in operating complicated equipment or know safety protocols. As a result, accidents, like a worker getting pinned between a wall and a piece of heavy equipment, happen. They can cause major, and often disabling, injuries or even death.
Many injuries and, yes even, fatalities occur when workers are struck by objects that move, fall, or roll. A worker may get hit by flying objects and unsecured loads. Swinging cranes on a construction site create major risks for workers. Other dangerous examples include unmarked low beams, improper demolition of buildings, and unevenly stacked heavy materials that may slip, slide, and ultimately fall.
Electrical issues, which can cause burns and electrocution, should always be monitored on construction sites. A burn is the most common shock-related injury. Electrocution is usually fatal and occurs when a person receives a lethal amount of electrical energy. For example, two workers are moving an aluminum ladder. One of them is electrocuted when the ladder comes in contact with overhead power lines. Such a simple mistake can have a tragic outcome.
These potentially lethal threats are why it’s critically important that workers, even if they have years of job experience, take OSHA training for construction, which covers these and many other issues.