OSHA statistics reveal that construction workers constitute only 5% of the total workforce in the US. But the industry registered about 20% (1,061) of worker fatalities in 2019 – and unfortunately responsible for one in five worker deaths in that year.
On any given day, the construction site is filled with several potential risks. Regulations and increasing awareness have helped control the risks to a large extent and the number of accidents has been coming down. The injury rate of 259.4 per 10,000 in 2003 has fallen to 112.3 in 2019 in the construction industry.
However, the battle to make construction work safer is still being fought on several fronts.
Overall, there is an increasing need to lay down standard operating procedures and train employees to follow those procedures. At ComplianceQuest, we have worked with several companies in the construction industry, helping them automate and streamline their safety management efforts. Our experience has taught us that:
Having SOPs is not enough; Companies and teams need to maintain checklists that get ticked off periodically to make sure that these SOPs are being followed. This is especially important in high-risk situations and supervisors would do well maintaining such checklists on a digital platform.
For this blog, we have collated few checklists prepared by subject matter experts at ComplianceQuest.
#1 – Are you taking care of fall protection?
The construction site is full of uneven surfaces, unstable platforms, and loose cables and materials. It can be like a hurdles race and needs much care and attention to minimize the risk of falls. Falls have been the top OSHA violation for the past 11 years. In FY 2021 itself, there were 5295 cases of violations compared to a total of 21092 cases of violations of all top 10 standards combined.
Here’s a checklist to ensure the fall protection is taken care:
- Fall Protection, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.501 to 1926.502 Part 1
- Fall Protection, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.501 to 1926.502 Part 2
- Fall Protection, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.501 to 1926.502 Part 3
- Fall Protection, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.501 to 1926.502 Part 4
- Fall Protection, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.501 to 1926.502 Part 5
#2 – Is your scaffolding foolproof?
Working at a height is an inevitable part of the construction activity, be it a new construction or renovation project. It involves the use of platforms, scaffolds, ladders, and harnesses, that can sometimes be unstable or may not function properly and eventually cause an accident. Scaffolding and ladder violations are in the top 5 OSHA violations for 2021 with a total of 3974 cases of violation of OSHA norms.
Minimize risks of poor scaffolding by using our checklists:
- Scaffolding Safety, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.451 Part 1
- Scaffolding Safety, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.451 Part 2
- Scaffolding Safety, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.451 Part 3
- Ladder Inspection
#3 – Do you have a robust process for the inspection of forklifts?
Moving objects is another significant risk area in a construction site. Forklifts play a crucial role in lifting as well as transporting construction heavy materials such as pallets of blocks/bricks, steel joists, and construction equipment and materials. To ensure they are safe, inspections should be carried out.
Here’s a checklist to ensure the forklift inspection process takes care of safety requirements:
#4 – Noise is also a safety hazard, especially for workers. How are you planning for noise protection?
Drilling, constant vehicular movement, loading and unloading, hammering, are some of the loud, repetitive commotions common to a construction site. Long-term exposure to this noise can cause irreversible hearing problems, injury to the eardrums, and deafness. But apart from hearing impairment, it can also be very distracting, causing other accidents such as falling or getting hurt by a moving object.
Minimize the risk of noise with the following checklist:
- Occupational Noise Protection, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1910.95: Mitigate Hearing Loss Incidents at your Workplace
#5 – Minimize the risk of electrical hazards
The electricity connection provided at the construction site is temporary in most cases. Often they are loose and sometimes exposed wires without insulation run through the site. This can cause electric shocks leading to possible fatal accidents.
For prevention, use:
- Use of Electrical Equipment, OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1910.334, Part 1
- Use of Electrical Equipment, OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1910.334, Part 2
#6 – Avoiding fire accidents
Fire accidents are a common hazard across industries, and the construction industry is no exception to this. Since many inflammable materials are lying around in a construction site, even a small spark can become a raging fire in no time.
Use the following checklist to minimize fire accidents
- Fire Protection & Prevention, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.150, Part 1
- Fire Protection & Prevention, OSHA Guidelines 29 CFR 1926.150, Part 2
Read The Ultimate Guide to Health & Safety Regulatory Requirements in the Construction Industry for more details about the hazards and governing regulations for the construction industry.
To know more about ComplianceQuest’s EHS product for the construction industry, visit: https://www.compliancequest.com/industry/construction/