This PowerPoint was developed by CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training for the International Social Security Association (ISSA) to highlight the international importance of the construction sector and the elevated risks to workers in the field. The program is modeled on a previous ISSA PowerPoint for the mining industry, which featured strong photos and limited copy. The mining program promoted an ISSA safety initiative called Vision Zero; this program promotes the 2014 guidance from CPWR and NIOSH on strengthening jobsite safety climate.
A New Strategy for Protecting Construction Workers
-ISSA Construction 10-19-2015
Construction is BEAUTIFUL
This newest addition to the Smithsonian museums on the mall was built with union labor.
Construction is COMPLEX.
Construction is SKILLED
Construction is DIVERSE
Construction is ESSENTIAL
Construction is DYNAMIC
Construction is HIGH-TECH.
Construction is INFRASTRUCTURE.
Construction is POWERFUL.
Construction is TEAMWORK.
But construction has other faces.
Let's talk about SAFETY.
Risks are different in construction.
Bystander exposures are much more prominent.
Multi-employer worksites complicate communication.
Conditions change daily.
Nearly half of construction workers reported being very hot or very cold at least once a week.1
More than half of construction workers reported exposure to vapors, gas, dust or fumes twice a week or more.
In 2010, more than 50 percent of construction workers reported that they were regularly exposed to vapors, gas, dust or fumes at work twice a week or more, which was more than double that of all industries combined. Construction workers, representing only five to six percent of the non-farm labor force, account for half of all occupational cancers.2
Construction workers are 5-6% of non-farm labor force, but account for half of all occupational cancers.3
828 U.S. construction workers died on the job in 2013. The highest count of fatal injuries among U.S. sectors.4
The rate of deaths from injuries in construction is higher in the U.S. than in many industrialized countries (2008).
In 2008, construction fatal injury rates among selected industrial countries ranged from 3.3 to 10.6 deaths per 100,000 workers (chart 37a). The reported construction fatality rate in the United States was relatively high, at 9.7 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTEs, see Glossary) – only slightly lower than the rates for Spain and Italy, but nearly triple the rate for Norway.
Construction led other U.S. sectors in the rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses with days away from work 1992-2005 (Private wage-and-salary workers).
Falls are still the leading cause of death on U.S. construction projects.
Hispanic construction workers die at a higher rate than white, non-Hispanic workers.
Rate of fatalities in construction,
by Hispanic ethnicity, 1992-2010 (All employment).
Latino workers often face fall hazards.
The photographer, Robert Carr, described the work scene below in his own words and noted that one of these three nearly fell while he photographed this work:
"These photos show three roofers at the edge of roof, without fall protection, lifting and tying off flared top of trash chute with which to funnel old roofing material into dump truck for disposal. The crew is using two pitch forks (hand tools for roof demolition) to pry the top flared part of the chute over and above the roof edge and gutter. The worker on the right shortly thereafter lost his balance but recovered and sat down on roof, rather than pitching over the roof edge and falling two floors. The workers returned the next day to demolish the roof, including near edge, and walk along the edge of the roof to drop debris into chute. They should all be wearing body harnesses, with lanyards tied back with safety line to a secure support near center of roof."
A strategy for construction
We need a strategy for construction safety. Mining has a program called "Vision Zero." Vision Zero has 7 golden rules covering these fields of action: (1)technology, (2) workplace (3) rules, (4) people
Similarly, CPWR and NIOSH have developed, "Strengthening Jobsite Safety Climate, 2014," which is a document containing indicators similar to the 7 Golden Rules of ISSA's Vison Zero.
A company can check these indicators for guidance in strengthening its jobsite safety climate. It can be accessed at: http://www.elcosh.org
There are 8 leading indicators to check
These are the 8 indicators:
- Demonstrate Management Commitment.
- Align and Integrate Safety as a Value.
- Ensure Accountability At All Levels.
- Improve Supervisory Leadership.
- Empower and Involve Workers.
- Improve Communication.
- Train at All Levels.
- Encourage Owner and Client Involvement.
Each indicator has its own worksheet. Within the document, companies can check where they are on the path to an exemplary safety climate.
Is the company (in increasing levels of desirability): (1) inattentive, (2) reactive, (3) compliant, (4) proactive, or (5) exemplary? See Indicator #2. How well does your firm Align and Integrate Safety as a Value?
1- Demonstrate Management Commitment.
- Is present and visible on job sites
- Practices safe behaviors on job sites
- Identifies and eliminates or at least reduces hazards
- Has a respectful process for corrective action
- Has a respectful reaction to worker injuries
- Reviews and analyzes safety policies, procedures & trends
2- Align and Integrate Safety as a Value.
- Safety is: Discussed at all regularly scheduled meetings, Aligned with other values such as productivity and cost reduction, and Integrated into all organizational policies & procedures.
- Leading safety indicators are used to improve jobsite safety climate.
- Adequate resources are allocated for safety program and safety activities.
3- Ensure Accountability At All Levels.
Element 3 is Ensuring Accountability at All Levels.
- A system of safety accountability is created for:
- Managers and supervisors, and
- Project owners.
- Policies setting safety goals, roles and responsibilities for a positive jobsite safety climate are established.
- An incentive structure that promotes and rewards safety processes not just outcomes is developed.
4- Improve Supervisory Leadership.
Element 4 is Improving Site Safety Leadership.
- Supervisors and foremen share a vision and a commitment to safety.
- Supervisor safety leadership is supported with training.
- Leaders are expected to lead by example, coach, and motivate others when it comes to safety.
5- Empower and Involve Workers.
Element 5 is Empowering and Involving Workers.
- Workers are empowered to invest in safety for themselves and fellow coworkers.
- Worker input is sought on hazard reduction and safety improvement.
- Joint worker-management committees are relied upon to address safety and health concerns.
6- Improve Communication.
Element 6 is Improving Communication.
- Open lines of communication between employees and all levels of management are established and maintained.
- All employees and managers receive safety trend reports.
- Process for communicating safety messages across entire organization is robust.
7- Train at All Levels.
Element 7 is Training at All Levels.
- Safety training for workers, supervisors, and managers is ongoing.
- Workers have OSHA-10 certificates and supervisors have OSHA-30 plus the STS certification.
- Training curriculum is tailored to specific roles and responsibilities at each level of the organization.
- Formal and informal assessments are conducted of training needs.
- Training knowledge and certificates are verified for all employees and contractors.
- Safety training is delivered by highly qualified experts.
8- Encourage Owner and Client Involvement.
Element 8 is Encouraging Owner and Client Involvement.
- Owners are visible on the jobsite.
- Contractors are held accountable for safety.
- Safety is a priority when selecting contractors.
- Prevention through Design (PtD) principles are used to prevent jobsite hazards.
- Incentives are aligned with safety.
CPWR- The Center for
Research and Training
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Silver Spring, MD, USA
1Data from: Liss GM, Petsonk EL, Linch KD [2010, Nov]. The construction industry. In: Occupational and Environmental Lung Diseases: Diseases from Work, Home, Outdoor, and Other Exposures. Eds: Tarlo S, Cullinan P, & Nemery B, eds., Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 273-289.
2CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training. [2013, April]. The construction chart book. Online. Available at: http://www.cpwr.com. p. 35.
3CPWR’s Construction Chart Book, 2013.
4Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
5CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training. [2013, April]. The construction chart book. Online. Available at: http://www.cpwr.com
6Strengthening Jobsite Safety Climate, 2014. Accessed at: http://www.elcosh.org