Safe + Sound Week Keeps Construction Workers Safe
Posted on August 15, 2022 in Firm News
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that an average of 1 in 5 American workers who sustained fatal injuries yearly are in a construction trade. Sadly, most of these tragedies resulted from the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Violations, citations given to workplaces whose safety practices fell short of protecting their workers.
Adequate safety programs are essential to keep construction workers safe and healthy. To promote safer workplaces, OSHA acknowledges Safe + Sound Week every August. Between August 15-21, organizations nationwide will be celebrating their commitment to safety planning and taking the opportunity to connect with their workers to implement more effective policies. Here’s what you need to start.
What is Safe + Sound Week
Safe + Sound Week is recognized nationwide and celebrates the workplaces that go above and beyond to keep their workers safe and the ones who strive to improve workplace safety every day. The program offers many resources for organizations and information on safety planning, improving current policies, and spreading a positive workplace culture around health and safety practices.
Safety is an ongoing issue that should be prioritized all year round. Safe + Sound Week is a method of spreading awareness on how workplaces can improve to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
Why Safety Planning Is Crucial in Construction
Safety planning is crucial to protecting workers’ lives in construction, especially in a city as active as New York City. In 2020, the National Safety Council announced construction as one of the country’s top four most dangerous occupations, with the highest number of work-related deaths. Construction workers are constantly exposed to unsafe conditions and hazardous materials. Without training and policies to help workers avoid accidents, fatal accidents would be an everyday occurrence.
Unfortunately, developers and contractors continue to put workers at risk by failing to implement adequate safety policies for common hazards leading to construction accidents. In 2021, the most frequently cited OSHA violations that led to preventable fatal accidents included:
- Fall Protection
- Respiratory Protection
- Hazard Communication
- Fall Protection Training
- Control of Hazardous Materials (Lockout/Tagout)
- Eye and Face Protection
- Powered Industrial Trucks
- Machinery and Machine Guarding
All but three of these violations (Respiratory Protection, Hazard Communication, and Powered Industrial Trucks) are classified by OSHA as construction hazards; specific violations unique to the industry. These violations can also be directly tied to the Fatal Four, the top four accidents leading to construction fatalities annually.
The Fatal Four includes falls, electrocutions, struck by, and caught in/between injuries. All of these accidents are generally caused by an oversight in safety practices. Safe + Sound Week is the perfect opportunity for worksites to see where they may be lacking in safety based on past injuries, accident trends, or workers’ concerns. But it’s also a time to celebrate what you’re doing right and to acknowledge the workers who are committed to keeping themselves and co-workers safe.
How Safe + Sound Week Protects Construction Workers
Any organization committed to increasing the health and safety of the workplace can participate in Safe + Sound Week– the more, the better! So far, 1353 organizations across the country have registered to participate, 62 of which are located in New York State. Registering your company for this safety week only takes three steps:
- Online Registration: Find the registration button towards the bottom of the Safe + Sound webpage. Choose whether you want your event to be public or private. If you have multiple sites or locations, you can send a registration request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Planning and Promoting: Celebrate your workplace being safe and sound by throwing an event with fun and meaningful activities. You can keep the event small with just employees, invite families, or even host a community gathering.
- Take Pride: When the safety week is finished, you can download a virtual coin to add to your website or a printable certificate to post in a public area of the workplace to remind workers of your commitment to their safety.
Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein Construction Accident Attorneys
At the law firm of Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, we have been fighting for New York City workers and victims of construction accidents for over 60 years. If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury on a construction site, our experienced trial attorneys are here to help.
To speak to one of our attorneys for a free consultation, please fill out our online form or call 212-227-1212.