The people over at Gizmodo and Safer America have put together a stunning visualization of "The Human Cost of Construction". It is an amazing and often untold look into just how dangerous of a profession construction can be. Most of the deadliest construction projects were large infrastructure projects in the early 20th century. As would be expected, the Canals, Railways, and Tunnels took the top spots with massive numbers of human casualties. What's most alarming to me, however, is the World Trade Towers in New York City that were completed in 1973; sixty people lost their lives constructing the two towers, which seems unbelievable that this could happen in America only 40 years ago.
Safer America, in conjunction with the DAM firm, a California Law Firm, also put together a great website with a timeline that takes you through each of the construction projects. The data shows that construction has become safer in recent years, and that makes what is happening in Qatar for the World Cup (soccer tournament) so upsetting. Construction in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup started in 2012, and if the current death rate for the 9 construction projects continues as it is trending, about 4,000 people are expected to lose their lives. A sobering statistic, for sure. As of today, 1,200 workers have already lost their lives to heat exhaustion, long hours, and poor living conditions on top of "slavery-like" conditions. The Qatar World Cup has already been riddled with controversy and it looks as though it will continue.
The interactive timeline is definitely worth a look and can be found by clicking the link directly below called, "The Human Cost of Construction."
The Human Cost of Construction | DAM Firm
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Multi-employer worksites are extremely common in the construction industry, but they can still make work extremely complicated. One of those complications results when a subcontractor receives a governmental violation, such as an OSHA violation. As a controlling employer on the site, can a general contractor be held responsible for safety hazards of a subcontractor? One court says yes.
After an abundance of delays on rule that would require crane operators to be formally qualified to operate, OSHA finally landed on an effective date of February 7, 2019. After receiving feedback from industry partners, OSHA has decided to delay enforcement for 60 days for contractors who make a “good faith effort” to comply.
As has been expected for a few months now, OSHA has officially removed the requirement for large companies with 250 or more employees to submit OSHA Forms 300 and 301. The administration cited privacy concerns as the reason for the change.
Be careful - owners and contractors are now being held criminally liable for their carelessness and disregard of safety protocols.
Since the 2016 Federal budget was passed, OSHA has increased their maximum citation penalty amount to adjust for inflation on a yearly basis. The 2019 increase has recently been announced.
Last November, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced felonious assault charges against a contractor’s superintendent and a manufacturer’s branch manager after two men suffered horrific injuries on a New York jobsite. Last week, OSHA formally announced citations against the St. Louis, Missouri based contractor.
After an uptick in construction industry fatalities in 2016, a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that both the amount of construction worker deaths and the rate of fatality dropped in 2017.
At the National Safety Council Congress & Expo on October 23, 2018, OSHA’s deputy director of Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced their 10 most frequesntly cited safety violations for their fiscal year 2018.
On March 15, 2018, 6 people were killed and 8 others were injured when an under construction pedestrian bridge collapsed in Florida. Several months later, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released their preliminary report while conducting an official investigation. The NTSB later issued an “Investigative Update” to their preliminary report in August. In Mid-November, the NTSB released a 2nd investigative update, narrowing their root cause theories.