Safety for Construction Workers


Since this week is Safety Week, we want to focus on the safety for construction workers. The Mission of Safety Week is to collectively raise the awareness of the construction industry’s continuing commitment to eliminating worker injury, and to clearly communicate its dedication to a shared culture of care and concern and the belief that every week must be Safety Week. While safety is universally accepted as a critical part of work in construction, employees still have varying degrees of emotion and motivation behind this ubiquitous topic.

Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category for all industries.

What are four main causes of construction worker deaths?

OSHA’s Fatal Four (excluding highway collisions):

  • Falls
  • Being struck by objects
  • Electrocutions
  • Being caught in or between objects

The Fatal Four is responsible for causing 602 of the 937 construction worker fatalities. Knowing the main causes of construction worker deaths is good, but understanding the sources that lead to these deaths allows owners to focus their safety training and toolbox talks on the deadliest areas of construction work.

Here are the primary sources of construction worker deaths.

  1. Highway Vehicles (192 fatal injuries)
  2. Other Structural Elements (142 fatal injuries)
  3. Ladders (89 fatal injuries)
  4. Structures Other Than Buildings (71 fatal injuries)
  5. Machine, Tool & Electric Parts (50 fatal injuries) 

Consider these safety tips for construction workers to prevent these injuries.

  1. Safety is everyone’s job. It’s not enough to make your own surroundings safe. We all impact one another’s safety and must always look out for one another.
  2. Clear communication is vital. Communicate with the people you are working with to better understand how the task can be done safely.
  3. Be Vigilant with Electricity and Equipment. If you are using plugged-in portable devices, such equipment as grinders or drills, you should always check that the cables are protected, the metal casing is grounded, and the power supply is provided with an earth leakage circuit breaker. Never allow the electrical tools to come in contact with water.
  4. Double-Check Your Work Areas. Scaffolds are an integral part of most construction sites and are associated with a high number of injuries. Check with your supervisor or find out yourself whether the scaffold has been inspected by a professional or a competent person prior to use.
  5. When planning a task, one needs to ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Then, plan accordingly. A job safety analysis (JSA) is a good tool to utilize when analyzing a job task and planning for safety.
  6. Getting home safe is a priority every day, no matter the size or scope of the job or task at hand.

These are just a few simple tips to consider when working in the construction industry. There are far more safety precautionary measures to follow to help protect you and your employees. Need assistance?  Give us a call to discuss how our consulting firm can help support your operations.

Jim DePew
Vice President & Consultant
Mobile: (330) 631-9022
Office: (330) 915-2355 Ext: 103