This summer, the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is launching a construction safety awareness and education campaign in the Mid-Atlantic to prevent construction accident injuries and deaths. OSHA is targeting the top four causes of accidental death in the construction industry: falls, crushing, electrocution and caught-in-between accidents.
OSHA compliance officers and other staff participating in the “Construction Incident Prevention Initiative” will conduct educational outreach with employers in Maryland as well as Delaware, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia. According to the OSHA press release: “The initiative will target health hazards involving silica, lead and hexavalent chromium, and will draw on OSHA’s national campaigns to prevent fall hazards at construction sites and heat illness among outdoor workers.”
The leading cause of construction accident fatalities in Maryland, along with the rest of the U.S., is falls. Lack of fall protection is the number-one reason OSHA cites employers for safety violations.
Falling from a higher elevation accounts for nearly all fatalities resulting from construction fall accidents. This includes accidents involving ladders, scaffolding, roofs, bridge decking, as well as holes in floors such as skylights.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary data for 2013 identified 294 fall fatalities out of 796 total fatalities in construction. Of those 294 falls, 284 were falls to a lower level. These types of fall accidents can be prevented when employers and construction workers are trained in proper equipment setup, usage and safety measures.
OSHA reports that in June, “tens of thousands of employers and more than 1 million workers across the country joined OSHA in safety stand-downs to focus on preventing fatalities from falls. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, with hundreds of workers dying each year and thousands more facing serious injuries.”
Related Maryland Construction Accident Attorney Articles:
Summer initiative stresses safety in construction throughout the Mid Atlantic
OSHA QuickTakes Newsletter July 1, 2014
US Department of Labor’s OSHA announces summer ‘Construction Incident Prevention Initiative’ in Delaware
OSHA Press Release June 18, 2014
OSHA Stop Falls campaign