Construction Sites Targeted That Put Workers At Risk

 

Focusing on the importance of workplace safety for construction companies, officials in New Zealand are making a concerted effort to see to it that 2013 is a safer year in this industry.
 
According to information from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, its inspectors passed out more than 1,000 notices and written warnings to construction companies performing work at height unsafely nationwide a year ago.
 
In an effort to protect workers, inspectors a year ago assessed more than 1,600 construction sites tied to the Preventing Falls from Height project, which seeks to lessen injuries and fatalities caused by falls in the construction sector. The project is continuing over the next 12 months, with construction workers being urged to make safety a priority in the New Year.
 
 
Sites Targeted That Put Workers at Risk
 
“The Ministry will continue to target sites that carry out work at height unsafely and those companies that put their workers at risk,” stated Francois Barton, the Ministry’s Southern Division general manager. We want to see enforcement figures improving in 2013 – safe work at height should be standard practice in the industry.
 
“Despite the high number of notices and warnings issued last year, it has been very positive to see some construction companies using innovative solutions to ensure their staff are safe while working at height. Companies are using adaptive scaffolding systems, mobile stair systems instead of ladders, and soft landing systems to stop workers getting hurt from falling off the top plate.”
 
Barton added that a sizable number of these solutions are also increasing productivity by bettering access for builders and the tradespeople that work alongside them.
 
 
Hundreds of Construction Workers Injured Every Year
 
Builders, roofers, electrical workers, painters and decorators are most apt to fall from height and get seriously hurt while they are working, according to officials.
 
“Tradespeople are going back to work after a few weeks off, so now is the time for a renewed focus on safety issues,” Barton remarked.
 
Hundreds of construction workers are injured on building sites every year – these accidents are preventable if precautions are in place. Workers must make safety a priority, especially during summer when there is an overall increase in workplace injury, according to Barton.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Construction Fatalities Cost California Residents $2.9 billion

 

 
168 Construction Workers Killed in Workplace Accidents
 
Occupational injuries and fatalities in the construction industry cost California residents $2.9 billion between 2008 and 2010, a new Public Citizen report shows. Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization.
 
The report, “The Price of Inaction: A Comprehensive Look at the Costs of Injuries and Fatalities in California’s Construction Industry,” quantifies the estimated costs of deaths and injuries in the state’s construction industry by considering an array of factors.
 
From 2008 to 2010, 168 construction workers were killed in workplace accidents in California. Additionally, the state recorded 50,700 construction-industry injuries and illnesses that required days away from work or a job transfer.
 
Drawing on a comprehensive 2004 journal article that analyzed the cost of occupational injuries, and combining the paper’s findings with updated fatality and injury data, the group determined that such incidents cost the state’s economy $2.9 billion during the three-year period.
 
 
Report Proposes Safety Required for State Contracts
 
As a partial solution, the report proposes that California pass a law requiring companies to demonstrate adherence to safety standards in order to be eligible to bid for state contracts. Such a solution not only would ensure that public-sector projects are fulfilled by responsible contractors but also would provide incentives for companies to maintain clean records while working on private-sector sites.
 
The report notes that California already screens construction companies to ensure that they have met performance standards in the past and haven’t violated any laws. The state also incorporates some safety standards in its prequalification system. But the system should be expanded to require construction firms to put greater emphasis on demonstrating that they provide safety training to workers and site supervisors, and that they have not had serious safety violations.
 
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.comContact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Young Women Struck and Killed Working as Flag Person

 

Worked as Flag Person in Construction Zone
 
Charges were recently filed in the death of a young woman who was struck and killed while working as a flag person in a construction zone in southern Saskatchewan.
 
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced that they have charged Keith Dunford, 44, of Regina with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
 
The charges come almost two months to the day after Ashley Richards was hit near Midale, southeast of Weyburn. The 18-year-old, who was originally from Lakeside, N.B., was working on a highway crew when she was struck by an SUV.
 
Proper Investigation Completed
 
''It's imperative that we do a proper investigation,'' Sgt. Paul Dawson told the media.
 
''As part of this we have a re-constructionist that comes. This is not something that's done immediately at the scene. It takes time to do that, so that's part of the process. Personally, I don't think two months is a long time for a serious offence like this.
 
''As well, we also consulted with the Crown on the appropriate charges.''
 
Motorists are required to slow to 35 mph when passing workers and equipment in construction zones in Saskatchewan.
 
 
Police Blitz on Construction Zones
 
Dawson said RCMP enforced the law before the accident, but Richards' death prompted police to begin blitzes in the busiest orange-signed construction zones.
 
''In the months of September and October, our dedicated traffic units have written over 400 tickets in the orange zone. That doesn't include tickets written by regular detachment members, so that's quite a lot of tickets that have been written for that one offence,'' added Dawson. ''That's solely for speeding over 35 in the construction zone  – over 400 tickets.''
 
In one case on Thanksgiving weekend, traffic officers near Maidstone said they clocked an SUV going 83 mph in a construction zone.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

13 Employees Die Every Day at Work, OSHA Can Be Your Partner in Prevention

 

What Is OSHA and What Do They Do?
 
Mention of the word “OSHA” around employers usually makes them cringe with discomfort.  But really what is OSHA and what do they do?  How can they help employers instead of just fining and disciplining them?
 
The answer to this comes in many forms, but let’s take a look at some general OSHA stats.  Usually when OSHA is called, someone is whistle-blowing on their employer for safety reasons.  Another common reason is that OSHA is called to investigate a serious injury or fatality on the job—which is any employer or insurance company’s worst nightmare. 
 
The following statistics were taken from the OSHA website http://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
 
“OSHA is a small agency; with our state partners we have approximately 2,200 inspectors responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers, employed at more than 8 million worksites around the nation — which translates to about one compliance officer for every 59,000 workers.”[WCx]
 
 
Worker Injuries, Illnesses and fatalities
 
4,690 workers were killed on the job in 2010 [BLS revised 2010 workplace fatality data*] (3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) — more than 90 a week or nearly 13 deaths every day. (This is a slight increase from the 4,551, fatal work injuries in 2009, but the second lowest annual total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992).
 
"Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy. American workers are not looking for a handout or a free lunch. They are looking for a good day's pay for a hard day's work. They just want to go to work, provide for their families, and get home in one piece."
– Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Workers Memorial Day speech April 26, 2012
 
 
Construction's "Fatal Four"
 
Out of 4,206* worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2010, 774 or 18.7% were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by object, and caught-in/between. These "Fatal Four" were responsible for nearly three out of five (56%) construction worker deaths in 2010*, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 437 workers' lives in America every year.
 
  • Falls – 264 out of 774 total deaths in construction in CY 2010 (34%)
  • Electrocutions – 76 (10%)
  • Struck by Object – 64 (8%)
  • Caught-in/between – 33 (4%)
 
 
Top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in FY2011
 
  • Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  • Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  • Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  • Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  • Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  • Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
  • Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  • Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  • Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)
  • Machine guarding (machines, general requirements, general industry) (29 CFR 1910.212) [WCx]
 
 
OSHA is Making a Difference
 
In four decades, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety.
 
  • Worker deaths in America are down — from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2010
  • Worker injuries and illnesses are down — from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to fewer than 4 per 100 in 2010.
 
 
Summary
 
The “Fatal Four” injuries within the realm of construction can be hard to avoid.  Falls and electrocutions can happen.  But being struck by objects and being caught in/between things can be lessened with proper training and overall increased alertness within your workforce on the jobsite.  All injuries cannot be prevented, but these stats can be an eye opener for any employer that does construction-type work. 
 
The mere fact that on any given day, 13 workers leave the house for work and never come home due to a fatality incident is a scary statistic.  Fatality claims are an adjuster’s worst nightmare.  There are a ton of issues, and none of them are pleasant.  Every worker out there doesn’t think it will happen to them, but it happens 13 times every day.
 
Safety is a team effort, and every employee has to do their part. Share these points with your staff at your next meeting, and be proactive in ways to lessen risk on the jobsite.  By implementing more safety awareness, you could very well be saving the life of one of your employees. 
 
 
 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Hispanic Construction Workers Have Greater Risk of Dying

According to a new study from the Center for Construction Research and Training, construction workers in the United States have a large risk of work-related injuries and an increased risk of work-related illness and death.
 
 
Researchers peered over data from several national sources and discovered that a construction worker has a 75 percent chance of suffering a disabling injury over a 45-year career, and a 1-in-200 risk of being fatally injured at work. (WCxKit)
 
 
Meantime, Hispanic construction workers have a 20 percent greater risk of dying from a work-related injury than whites.
 
 
The authors of the study also discovered that people who begin construction work at age 20 have a 15 percent chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease over their lifetime and an 11 percent chance of developing dust-related changes to the lung tissue.
 
 
"While great strides have been made in reducing construction injuries and illnesses, the numbers are still stubbornly high," Pete Stafford, executive director of CPWR, commented in an APHA news release. (WCxKit)
 
 
"Workers and their families suffer the consequences of disabling injuries, and this research shows it's far too common. So we must continue to raise awareness of the problems and hope to see our research findings put to use to reduce construction fatalities, injuries and illnesses," Stafford added.
 
 

Nova Scotia Labor Department Charges Employer Following Death

Nova Scotia's Labor Department has laid charges following an 18 month investigation into the death of a 12-year-old boy who was run over by a truck in Cape Breton.

 

According to information from the NSLD, Dylan LeBlanc of Cheticamp was killed while riding his bicycle near a local inn that was being renovated in August 2010. The boy was hit and run over by a boom truck. (WCxKit)

 


Labor Department spokesman Brian Taylor
reports charges were laid recently against 5823 NWT Ltd., the company that owns Maison Fiset House, and project manager Darren MacPhee.

 

Taylor says the company has been charged with failing to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of people at the workplace and failing to take adequate precautions to ensure pedestrian safety.

 

He says MacPhee is charged with failing to take reasonable precautions to ensure health and safety at or near the project.

 

Taylor says a third person who has not been named by officials is also charged, but that person has not been served notice yet. (WCxKit)

 

Those charged are to appear in provincial court in the spring in Port Hood, N.S

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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