May is dedicated to construction safety and includes National Building Safety Month, Construction Safety Week (May 1 – 5) and The National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction. These annual efforts help to shine a spotlight on safety in one of the most dangerous industries in the world.
The construction industry historically sees more workplace deaths and serious injuries each year than any other industry. In 2021, construction deaths due to falls, slips and trips increased by 5.9 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 1 in 5 workplace deaths occurred in the construction industry in 2021. If you add the tens of thousands of non-fatal injuries, you quickly get a picture of how dangerous the industry can be.
Today we want to do our part to bring attention to the important topic of safety in the construction industry and share some resources that may help organizations reduce injuries on jobsites.
Construction Safety Week Resources
Just driving by a construction jobsite can show you why the work they do is so dangerous. While the issue of safety on an active jobsite is a complicated matter, there are some common situations that lead to injuries, including:
- Construction jobsites are full of potentially dangerous situations and equipment that can cause serious injury and death.
- Construct work regularly puts workers into precious situations high above ground, underground, in areas that require balance and near heavy objects that may not yet be properly secured.
- There are moving hazards on jobsites including people, heavy equipment and materials that are continually moved from place to place.
- Construction workers put in long, exhausting hours and do so in unfavorable weather. This level of exhaustion increases the potential for mistakes.
- Construction workers may be exposed to potentially dangerous substances and problems like dust, dangerously loud sounds and environmental hazards that cause injuries and illness.
Additionally, suicide rates and stress-related issues are a serious problem for the industry. The CDC lists construction as one of the top industries for suicides and most years it has the highest suicide rates among all industries. The reason for this remains unclear and needs more research, but professionals suggest many factors including chronic pain associated with physical labor and injuries are to blame.
If you work within the construction industry and want to help improve safety and wellness within your organization, the following resources can help you get a head start:
Mental Health in Construction
Many construction safety resources can be viewed in various languages (Spanish, Polish, Russian and Portuguese) through this visiting this link.
The material presented here is educational in nature and is not intended to be, nor should be relied upon, as legal or financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or financial professional for advice.