Nearly 100 workers are killed in the workplace every week or about 14 a day, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) using 2017 statistics. Of those fatalities, 20% occur in the construction industry.
OSHA says a majority of those deaths fall under four main categories, which the agency calls construction’s Fatal Four, including being struck by objects, getting caught in between objects, electrocution and falls. The agency says eliminating those four hazards would save nearly 600 lives each year.
The most frequent citations for 2019
At the end of September, OSHA released its top 10 violations during the past fiscal year ranging from the highest number of citations to the fewest:
- Lack of fall protection in residential construction
- Failure to communicate safety procedures to workers
- Scaffolding access and lack of guardrails
- Failure to train employees and conduct periodic inspections
- Failure to establish a written respiratory protection program and provide medical evaluations
- Improper use of and damaged ladders
- Lack of employee training on powered industrial vehicles
- Failure to train workers in identifying fall hazards and improper use of fall protection equipment
- Failure to provide necessary safeguards on machines
- Failing to ensure workers use appropriate eye or face protection
OSHA urges employers to upgrade worker safety
Safety advocates say employers could significantly reduce deaths, injuries and fines if they took several measures, including:
- Make ongoing safety training mandatory
- Work to create a strong safety awareness culture
- Focus on planning to ensure adequate staffing for job safety
- Invest in safer technology
- Understand and follow OSHA regulations
Protect yourself over workplace injuries
The National Safety Council says 4.6 million people are injured in the workplace each year, that’s an astounding 510 per hour. If you are injured on the job, an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can help you with the process by preparing and filing required notices, getting proper medical treatment, assuring accurate and timely benefits and appealing denied claims.