Report Identifies Worker Fatalities in Remodeling
Residential remodeling is among the top three segments of residential construction to have workers suffer fatal injuries on the job, according to NAHB’s “Residential Construction Industry Fatalities 2003-2006” report.
Single-family housing construction workers ranked highest, with roofing contractors the next most likely to be fatally injured.
“The worst thing that can happen to a company is to have a fatality on the job site,” asserts NAHB Remodelers Chairman Lonny Rutherford, CGR, CAPS, CGP, and president of Legacy Construction in Farmington, N.M. “This affects so many avenues of the company it is hard to regroup. It affects the morale and finances and sets the company back in so many other ways.”
Nearly one-half of residential construction fatalities resulted from falls, and residential remodelers accounted for the third-highest segment in the industry to have workers die from falls on the job. Fatal falls were most often from a roof, ladder and scaffolding.
Length of industry service also related to fatalities, with 47% of those fatally injured on the job employed with the company for less than one year.
“Through my position of sitting on our Builders Trust Board for two years I came to understand that the new employees are the most likely to be injured,” said Rutherford. “The longer an employee is on the job the less likely they will be injured.”
The results suggest that the amount and quality of training influences fatality rates — with less experienced workers and workers with less training at greater risk of accidents and falls.
Remodeling fatalities data has been separated from residential building for the first time in the report, thanks to changes in the collection of government data. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not track self-employed remodelers, who comprise the majority of the industry. Self-employed remodeling fatality data is collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is then combined with the OSHA data.
“At my company, I have a discussion of safety issues if we are doing a process that is new or potentially dangerous,” said Rutherford. “For example, if the guys are going to use a piece of equipment that they are not familiar with, we will discuss the safety issues involved with this equipment.”
About the Study
The safety study evaluated the 1,385 work-related deaths that were reported in residential construction from 2003 to 2006. Data was collected from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries as well as employment estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey and the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.
The study also found that falls, which accounted for 45% of the industry’s reported deaths, were the most common cause of home building fatalities.
Study Available Free From NAHB
The study, available free from NAHB, is the most comprehensive analysis of home building industry fatalities to date.
To download a free copy of the full study or its executive summary from the NAHB Web site, go to: www.nahb.org/fatalitystudy.
Spanish-Language Safety Resources Available From NAHB
NAHB offers its members and affiliated home builders associations Spanish-language resources in a variety of formats, including books, videos, onsite training programs and Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition, a learn-at-home program from the Home Builders Institute (HBI) that teaches English to Spanish-speaking adults in the construction industry. HBI is the workforce development arm of NAHB.
BuilderBooks.com offers several safety-oriented Spanish-language instructional books and videos, including “Fall Protection Video, English-Spanish,” which includes identical 30-minute training videos in each language.
NAHB and the NAHB Research Center also conduct fall protection training seminars in locations around the country for builders, trade contractors, supervisors and workers. The seminars are offered in both English and Spanish.
To learn more about the fall protection training program, and to see a list of scheduled seminar locations for 2008, go to www.nahb.org/fallprotectiontraining.
To purchase safety publications, videos and other resources online from BuilderBooks.com, visit www.builderbooks.com/safety.
For more information on NAHB safety training programs, e-mail Lindsay Cather at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8163.
Boost Job Site Safety With Fall Protection Training Products
In an effort to increase job site safety and reduce the chance of job related accidents, NAHB has produced the “Fall Protection Video, English-Spanish” and “NAHB-OSHA Fall Protection Handbook, English-Spanish.”
Both are available through BuilderBooks.com.
The 30-minute “Fall Protection Video, English-Spanish” can be used by builders to train workers to use safe work practices that eliminate fall hazards and comply with OSHA fall-protection standards.
The “NAHB-OSHA Fall Protection Handbook, English-Spanish” provides guidelines for creating a written fall-protection plan and identifying safe work practices that can prevent costly accidents and injuries. Written with clear text, photographs and illustrations, the book serves as a user-friendly resource for promoting safety on any job site.
To purchase the handbook and video online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.
Create a Safer Job Site
Four common hazards cause 90% of the injuries and fatalities on residential construction job sites.
The “Recognizing the Big-Four Safety Hazards for the Home Building Industry” course from The NAHB University of Housing shows how to comply with OSHA regulations and to recognize and minimize those hazards most likely to cause accidents.
The course teaches builders to protect their workers from harm and themselves from liability. This course is also available in Spanish.
To find out where upcoming courses are being held, click here, or call 800-368-5242 x8154 for more information.
Learn How Green Building Is Good for Business
The "Green Building as Good Business" audio seminar on Wednesday, June 11 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT will show how building and remodeling green might just be the smartest way out of the housing slump.
Hear from three panelists who have found great success with green.
For more information and to register, visit www.nahb.org/GoBuildGreen, e-mail Agustin Cruz at NAHB, or call him at800-368-5242 x8472.
Home Builders Institute Offers New Program to Teach Hispanic Adults English
Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition is an easy-to-use, take-home learning tool created exclusively for the construction industry by the Home Builders Institute to improve communication, quality and safety on the job site.
The product, now available at www.seddesaberconstruction.com, uses proven LeapFrog technology to allow workers to listen, record and play back their pronunciation of more than 500 vocabulary words and 340 phrases. Participants who practice 30 minutes each day will complete the program in just four months. Learning at home, on their own time, also eliminates scheduling conflicts.
Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition was developed by a team of subject matter experts assembled through HBI — including superintendents, craft skills experts, remodelers and builders — to ensure that the information is relevant to today’s home building workforce. To address worker safety issues related to the language barrier, HBI created a seventh book based entirely on the NAHB-OSHA Job Site Safety Handbook.
NAHB members can purchase the learning system, all seven books and a skills assessment to chart employee progress for $395 per kit. The non-member price is $495. Order today and empower your workers to learn English at www.seddesaberconstruction.com.