Most people might not realize it, but today is actually the 7th annual Construction Safety Day, an initiative sponsored by the Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board in Washington state.
Of the seemingly innumerable dangers facing workers on the typical construction site, none perhaps looms any larger than falls from heights. Indeed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined that falls are currently the leading cause of fatal construction accidents in the U.S., accounting for over a third of all fatalities.
Falling objects at construction sites can cause a considerable amount of harm to workers. A construction accident involving a falling object recently happened in another state, South Dakota.
A brief examination of readily available statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reveals that fatal construction accidents continue to be a major issue here in the United States. To illustrate, the agency determined that 775 people lost their lives in construction accidents in 2012 alone.
One man is dead and another injured after being hit by falling concrete at a demolition site in Vernon Hills. The 25-year-old Palos Park man died of crush injuries, including internal bleeding and a crushed pelvis, at Advocate Condell Medical Center. He was reportedly working to remove a layer of brick from an outer wall. The concrete pieces appear to have fallen from the roof line of the building.
If you drive by a residential or commercial construction site, you will undoubtedly see everything from bulldozers and dump trucks to cement mixers and tool belts. You will also more than likely see multiple ladders or an intricate system of scaffolding. What you may be shocked to learn, however, is that these ladders and scaffolding are actually the most deadly piece of equipment on the entire work site.
While we prefer to think that serious construction accidents are largely a thing of the past due to improvements in safety equipment and a greater overall awareness of workplace dangers, this simply isn't the case. In fact, hundreds of thousands of hard working men and women suffer debilitating and sometimes fatal work injuries every year because of the inherently dangerous conditions found at many construction sites.