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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Last November, OSHA issued a final rule that would finally allow them to enforce language, which has been in their standards since 2010, requiring construction crane operators to be formally qualified to operate the equipment. The first day of enforcement for that rule had been set for November 10, 2018, but the agency has recently proposed a new rule that would pull back some of the initial requirements.
Finding enough labor to complete jobs has been a problem for many companies in the construction industry over the past few years. Amid a construction “boom” in many areas, general and subcontractors are accepting jobs without enough people to work them, so some have turned to hiring “subs of subs” to supplement their work, a report published by The Tennessean says.
In March, OSHA announced that they would be enforcing their previously delayed beryllium exposure limit for the construction industry on May 11, 2018. The agency has recently confirmed that enforcement date in a memorandum on May 9, 2018.
OSHA newer and more stringent regulations regarding employee’s exposure to respirable crystalline silica officially went into effect on September 23, 2017. The new reduced the permissible exposure limit of the substance, which is found mostly in products containing sand (like concrete, mortar, and brick), from 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air down to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over an 8 hour shift.
For the third time in a year, construction workers have had to be rescued while dangling mid-air by fire rescue teams in Southern Florida. Last year, there were two incidents in Sarasota, Florida that involved failed suspended scaffolding in as many months. Just last week, another incident in Palmetto Bay required the Fire Department to intervene.
The construction industry has never been one to freely share information without charging a fee. That’s changed slightly recently, with some major players willing to provide useful tools and information to help us become better. For instance, we recently shared that Procore has released hundreds of free continuing education courses on their education platform. Another useful site we’ve found recently has shared dozens of toolbox talks to help your team on the jobsite learn about safety.
[guest post] The reality is that construction workers, who already face hundreds of hazards just by working in the industry, are also often at risk for becoming injured or ill due to contact with wildlife.
It should be obvious that formal safety training is extremely important to running a successful safety program on any construction site. The most common route for construction employers to train their staff is through OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 courses, but, in the past, it was pretty confusing to determine who was actually authorized to teach the courses and where to find them.
[guest post] Spring is here and before we know it, summer will follow. In both seasons, weather conditions can present dangers to construction workers. Without education and preparation, workers may find that they are seriously ill or injured during work.
Crane collapses on construction jobsites are usually pretty terrifying, especially when the jobsite is full of workers. A construction site in St. Petersburg, Florida got extremely lucky when a large construction crane collapsed and narrowly missed several running workers.