More Construction, More Hazards

From urban city skylines to the suburbs, there seems to be one constant – the construction industry is booming, and new developments are going up everywhere, especially in growing cities like our own Denver. And statistics confirm this – according to one study, the residential construction industry had an approximate 9 percent growth in 2015, and nonresidential construction was also expected to be up about 5 percent the same year. But with the good, comes the bad. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries, and is responsible for a significant percentage of worker injuries and deaths each year. And the recent rise in construction projects has some experts worried that worker safety may be impacted.

Stonehouse Signs Custom Construction PPE Required BannerAccording to OSHA, the construction industry had 937 workplace deaths in 2015, which accounted for more than 20% of all worker deaths that year. But even though construction safety has made great progress from the 1970s or 1980s, experts are worried that the recent construction boom may lead to an increased number of accidents. According to one study, 75 percent of construction firms planned to hire more workers in 2017. But with such a rapid expansion of the workforce, especially in certain areas of the country, many firms are turning to young, inexperienced workers or foreign workers (who may not speak English as their first language) to fill their employment needs. This is because the 2008 recession and subsequent construction slowdown caused many workers to leave the industry, never to return. In addition, many vocational programs have been eliminated over the years, meaning there are fewer young, trained U.S. workers available to fill the empty positons.

The influx of newer, untrained employees means that construction companies need to be focused now more than ever on worker safety, as job sites may be the first place workers are receiving information on general safety or OSHA requirements. OSHA reports that 60% of construction deaths were due to what they call the “Fatal Four:” Falls, Struck by Object, Electrocutions, and Caught-In/Between. Eliminating deaths from the “Fatal Four” would save an estimated 600 worker lives a year. Those hazards, plus the hazards listed on OSHA’s yearly Most Cited Violations list are a great place to start building or updating your construction safety program. Focusing on common hazards will have the most immediate impact for new workers and are always a great reminder for seasoned workers as well. You can also find more information on specific Most Cited hazards and other safety and industry information on the Stonehouse Signs blog

Stonehouse Signs also has all of the safety signs, tags and banners you need to warn workers of hazards or remind workers of important safety information, like PPE use. We also carry a line of English-Spanish Signs to help you communicate better with non-native English Speakers, and can make Custom Foreign Language Signs in almost any language you need. For more information, contact Stonehouse Signs today.

Since its founding in 1863, Stonehouse Signs has produced high-quality visual communications solutions for various industries and the government. The company specializes in custom products for safety, information and accident prevention, and manufactures a full line of safety signs and facility signssafety tags, vinyl safety decals, and custom magnetic whiteboards designed for extended outdoor life, harsh environments and demanding applications. For more information contact Stonehouse Signs today.

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