Most Common Safety Hazards on High Rise Construction Sites
Every year the number of accidents and casualties on construction sites seems to go up and up, even with all the training and advice coming from OSHA on preventative measures which can and are legally obligated to be taken. Some of the statistics could be due to an increase within the industry in terms of new builds, but others simply mean that builders have either been misinformed or are noncompliant. If you are in the business of building high rises, the following are statistically the most common safety hazards according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These are listed in order of the number of citations issued going back to the year 2004.
Scaffolding violations are a very serious problem because workers are often many stories above ground and a single incident can result in one or more deaths. In recent years there have been several scaffolding failures that have made the national news which has drawn major attention to ongoing violations. OSHA can only be in so many places at one time so it is incumbent upon builders to ensure the safety of their crew.
Inadequate Fall Protection
This is one safety hazard that could be rectified quite easily with the appropriate type of safety harness that has been designed and manufactured under the strictest guidelines for very specific uses. No matter how many times it is reiterated, safety harnesses are the ultimate barrier between life and death and unless the appropriate design and strength is used, there would be no way to prevent a tragedy in the event of a fall, especially when abseiling, also referred to as rappelling.
Head Protection – Hard Hats
There have been stories of builders ordering hard hats from developing nations in an effort to cut costs but they were defective and substandard in a number of ways. One single head injury can result in lifelong issues preventing a normal quality of life and can even result in death and that’s why hard hats are rated based on OSHA requirements. If you are working on a high rise several floors down when a heavy object is dropped hitting you in the head, death could result instantaneously or send you plummeting from the beam you are perched on. Together with OSHA approved safety harnesses, head protection should be a major priority and issued to everyone who has cause to enter the work zone.
While these are some of the most common safety concerns when constructing high rise buildings, there are literally dozens more safety hazards. Inadequate gear or equipment that has not been inspected within the required time are major issues that face every builder from time to time. An ethical contractor will follow OSHA guidelines to the letter but in the event you have any doubts, as a worker, call the OSHA hotline to file a report. Your safety and your future is worth more than your current job. Keep these safety hazards in mind and to ensure your safety, refer to the OSHA handbook often.