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The number of fatal work-related injuries in private construction declined 10% from 2009 to 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2010 (CFOI).
Part of the BLS Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS), the summary provides a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year.
While a growing focus on safety within the housing industry is one factor, the decline stems from many factors, according to safety experts at NAHB, including a significant slowdown in overall construction activity.
To accurately assess safety improvements over a period of time, employers should look at the overall construction fatality rate, which provides the number of fatalities per the number of hours employees worked.
That measure shows longer-term improvement from the period of 2006 to 2010, with construction fatalities dropping from 10.8 per 100,000 hours worked to 9.5.
Despite the improvement, however, construction still has one of the highest rates of fatal injuries of any industry, suggesting that educating workers on safety issues needs to remain a key priority for builders.
Home builders can take proactive steps to improve safety on their job sites. Before an OSHA inspector ever sets foot on the job site, builders should:
- Review their safety program
- Understand any national and local emphasis programs
- Develop procedures for an OSHA visit and train their employees in those procedures
- Have records (300 Logs, training records, etc.) readily available and up-to-date
- Make sure their workers are properly trained on the safety requirements of the job site
Another assessment tool from OSHS — the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) — presents frequency counts and incidence rates by industry. That data will be published later this month.
The video provides an overview of the key safety issues that residential builders and workers need to focus on to reduce accidents and injuries.
Based on the NAHB-OSHA Jobsite Safety Handbook, this DVD is intended to be used as part of an essential residential construction safety-training program and includes two 20-minute videos on one DVD.
To view or purchase this DVD online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.