How do you ensure a safe crew on the job? The answer is easy – safety training. As a roofing and construction professional, safety should be a top priority for all of your crew members and on all of your job sites. According to OSHA, there were approximately 5,250 worker fatalities recorded for calendar year 2018, reflecting a 2 percent increase from the 5,147 in 2017— on average, more than 100 a week or more than 14 deaths every day. Out of those, approximately 20 percent were in construction, and in CY 2018, roofers were one of the occupations listed as having fatality rates more than 10 times the all-worker rate of 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 FTE workers.
As reported and published by OSHA, the leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These Fatal Four were responsible for more than half (58.6%) the construction worker deaths in 2018. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save nearly 600 workers’ lives in America every year.
Such fatalities can be prevented with proper training of crews, appropriate safety equipment and preparation; by assessing and reducing such costly and life-threatening hazards on your job site, you would significantly lower your risk of having a crew member become a statistic.
As in previous years, Fall Protection continues to be the #1 most cited OSHA standard, and for this reason, it is important to have not only the proper fall protection equipment, but the proper training. Employers must be proactive and set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling.
OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of six feet or greater in the construction industry, and fall protection must be provided to all employees working over dangerous equipment and machinery no matter the fall distance.
According to OSHA’s website, there are a number of areas that an employer can address to prevent crews from being injured from a fall injury; those preventative steps are published as follows:
- Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).
- Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway.
- Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt) employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
- Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and handrails.
While most employers do not have a large enough operation to conduct safety training in-house, it is still their responsibility to follow OSHA’s standards and ensure crews are following proper safety procedures. Brauner Safety Services can provide consultations and customized training programs at your office or on the job, as well as develop safety policy and procedure for your team. The investment made in training now will more than pay off down the line by avoiding costly penalties and heavy losses. Another major benefit is that training can boost team morale and give your employees the confidence they need to focus on the job knowing that their employer cares about their well-being and safety in the workplace.
To secure the latest safety training for your crews and strengthen your own safety programs, policies and procedures, contact Brauner Safety Services.