A Construction Insurance Industry Perspective for the Craft Professional

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Willis Towers Watson

Working in Construction can be Dangerous

2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Construction Industry

  • Safety Week and Safe By Choice logos971 Construction Industry Fatalities during 2017
  • 366 Were work-related fatal falls to a lower level
  • 37% Fatal Falls from a height of 15 feet or less
  • $1B Cost per week for serious, non-fatal injuries in the construction industry
  • 19 Trench related fatalities 2017, OSHA’s 2019 National Emphasis Program REDUCE
  • 97% of workers have at least one significant workplace fatigue risk factor, 80% have 2 or more.
  • 100% Number of Construction Workers who should go home everyday


Falls to a Lower Level

What You can Do

  • Imagery related to falls and laddersReport Guardrails that don’t look safe to your supervisor
  • Inspect your personal fall protection equipment frequently
  • Know how to identify a safe anchorage point
  • Retractable lanyards may not prevent swing falls
  • Report floor openings and unsecured “HOLE” covers to your supervisor
  • Know who your Fall protection competent person is
  • Keep both hands free when climbing ladders
  • When working above 6 feet use fall protection





Slips, Trips and Falls on Walking Surfaces

What You can Do

  • graphics representing slips, trips and fallsWear ankle high work boots with non-slip tread
  • Keep walk paths clean and free of debris, materials, and water
  • Empty trash containers when three quarters (3/4) from the top
  • Make sure your work area has brooms and shovels for clean-up
  • Make sure the access path to the project are marked and clear of fall hazards
  • If you wear bi-focals you are 40% more likely to trip and fall
  • Treat and clean-up all spills very quickly
  • Make sure any tripping hazards are eliminated or clearly marked



Overexertion from Pushing, Pulling, Lifting, and Carrying

What You can Do

  • graphics of constrtuction workersAvoid lifting and carrying by using mechanical aids
  • Keep work at waist level in the power zone between knuckle and shoulder height
  • Do warm-up exercises in the morning and after breaks
  • When lifting while turning, move your feet and don’t just twist your waist
  • Lift comfortably with or without a straight back
  • Carry materials close to your body
  • Keep walkways clear so a trip while carrying will not end up being a strain.
  • Don’t put tools and materials on the floor level that will have to be moved later. Keep objects between knuckle and shoulder height

Vehicle Accidents

What You can Do

  • image of truckWear your seat belt whenever your vehicle moves
  • Maintain safe following distance between you and the vehicle ahead, double the distance in bad weather
  • Avoid distractions like cell phone, eating, reading maps, laptop use, and road rage
  • When parking always back so you are ready to safely leave quickly if needed
  • Inspect your vehicle daily for lights, tire condition, leaks, warning lights, mirrors, and window cleanliness
  • Use your horn, lights, and signals to let others know your intentions early
  • Look Left, Right, then Left before going through any intersection
  • Tap your horn to get eye contact with pedestrians

Trenching and Excavation

What can You Do?

  • trenching graphic: slope it, shore it, shield itMake sure underground utilities are located and marked
  • Know who your competent person is
  • If the excavation is more than 4 feet don’t go in it without protection
  • Make sure the daily trench inspection checklist has been completed and you have looked at it
  • Make sure you can safely get into and out of the trench
  • Report unstable or any changes in soil condition to your supervisor.
  • Make sure all workers are accounted for before machine work begins
  • Make sure you have the right Trench protection



What You can Do

  • graphic of fatigued workerUnderstand your sleep, rest, and recovery needs
  • Go to the doctor if you have a health condition that affects your sleep
  • Look out for signs of fatigue in other people you work with
  • Reduce fatigue by taking all your breaks and when necessary
  • Ride sharing will reduce your driving fatigue, and commuter stress. It will increase your fuel economy
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration increases fatigue
  • Fatigue and drowsiness increase after a big lunch or breakfast
  • Use the right tool for the job. The wrong tool will increase your fatigue

Fire During Construction

What You can Do

  • photo of cathedral burningRemove trash and materials from your work area frequently
  • Have a Fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
  • Know how to get off of the project and where to assemble
  • When welding or cutting make sure there is a hot work permit completed
  • Make your supervisor is aware of any suspicious activity by vandals overnight
  • Know and understand the project emergency plan
  • Know the safety rules for flammable liquid storage and transportation
  • Smoking only in designated areas


Water Damage During Construction

What You can Do

  • photo of leaking water pipeHave a spill response cart available in your work area
  • Have sprinkler head quick stop on the spill response cart
  • Know where the water supply shutoff is for each floor
  • All drains (floor and sink) in the work area are functional and clean
  • Cover up and protect sensitive materials (drywall and electrical components) from water damage
  • Keep materials and equipment on carts, pallets, or wood stringers to protect from standing water.
  • Know who to contact if water starts leaking suddenly. Know who your spill response team is
  • Assume plumbing fixtures and pipe are live and pressurized with water

Runover and Backover

What You can Do

  • graphic of various pieces of construction heavy equipmentUnderstand heavy equipment blind spots
  • Always use a spotter when backing heavy equipment and trucks
  • Wear High Visibility reflective work wear
  • Make sure back-up alarms are working
  • Only designated people should be around moving equipment and trucks
  • Worker foot traffic should be outside of equipment routes
  • Watch out for others in harms way










Improve Yourself

What can You Do

  • photo of a safety professionalBecome a Competent Person
  • Do a safety presentation for your work group
  • Get a construction safety certification
  • Dress like a safety minded craft professional
  • Learn how to see upcoming risks when reading a schedule
  • Learn another language and do research on other cultures than your own. Diversity = a safer project
  • Learn how to have tough conversations with your leadership on safety issues/improvements that need to change
  • Communication is the key to Safe Work. Study, practice, and learn how to communicate more effectively


Thank You!

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