How OSHA is Ensuring Increased Safety During a Year of Unprecedented Job Site Injuries

Construction safety is vital for a wide variety of reasons. First, construction workers are exposed to a variety of potential hazards while on the job. From falling debris to heavy equipment, there are many ways for workers to be injured while working on a construction site. 

Second, construction safety is important because it helps to protect the public from potential accidents. When safety standards are not met, it puts the general public at risk of being injured by falling debris or other life threatening hazards. 

Third, construction safety is essential because it helps to protect the property of those who are working on the construction site. If safety standards are not kept and met, it puts the property at risk of being damaged or destroyed. By understanding the importance of construction safety, we can help to ensure that accidents are prevented and that workers and the public are protected.

Trench deaths are a terrible side effect of not adhering to proper safety procedures. It has been a big concern on a number of construction sites in 2022. In just six months, 22 workers died from hazards in trench and excavation work. That is more than the 15 who lost their lives in 2021 alone! “In a matter of seconds, workers can be crushed and buried under thousands of pounds of soil and rocks in an unsafe trench. The alarming increase in the number of workers needlessly dying and suffering serious injuries in trenching incidents must be stopped,” said Doug Parker, assistant secretary for Occupational Safety and Health.

“Every one of these tragedies could have been prevented had employers complied with OSHA standards,” Parker said. “There simply is no excuse for ignoring safety requirements to prevent trench collapses and cave-ins, and leaving families, friends and co-workers to grieve when the solutions are so well-understood.”

How can workers be truly protected? OSHA is responding to this problem proactively by starting an enhanced enforcement initiative to help protect workers from the hazards of trench deaths. They are looking into ways to hold employers more accountable for these workplace tragedies. Enforcing the use of shields to reinforce trenches is a simple and effective way to help save lives that is often ignored on the job site. Many times the shields sit unused beside the excavation, OSHA said. Steeper fines are also being put into place for offenders.

These types of tragedies are something that can happen but being dedicated to construction safety can drastically decrease the likelihood of such an event. We at RFW Construction are dedicated to job site safety protocol and ensure that our team follows safety standards to the letter. There’s few things more enjoyable than finishing a construction project with all employees healthy and safe.  Safety first is our motto!

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Photo 1 – Pexels: Maarten van den Heuvel