Focus on Prevention: The Top Four Construction Hazards State Building and Construction Trades Council Funded by Federal OSHA (2008)
OSHA Grant Number This material was produced under grant number SH16592-07-60-F6 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
Credits ─ Sources of Information • Center for Construction Research & Training (CPWR) • Laborers International Union of North America • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) • Cal/OSHA • Federal OSHA • Occupational Health Branch, California Dept. of Public Health • The Construction Institute • Associated General Contractors
Topics • The Construction Workforce Nationwide • Fall Hazards • Struck-by Hazards • Electrical Hazards • Caught-in/between Hazards
Three Times the Deaths • Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites in this country. • In 2003, construction workers were 7% of the workforce and 21% of the workplace deaths.
Immigrant Deaths on the Job • Between 1996-2000 the number of foreign-born workers increased by 22%. • The number of fatalities among these workers increased by 43%.
Latinos Were 23% of All Construction Workers in 2005 Latinos as a percentage of construction occupations, 2003-05
Latino Construction Deaths • Of the 1,226 construction deaths in 2005, 321 (26%) were among Latino workers.
Non-English Speaking Workers • An estimated 4.5 million of California’s 17 million workers do not speak English. • Cal/OSHA has only 30 field inspectors able to speak a language other than English.
California vs. Nationwide Construction Fatalities by Hazard Struck-by Fatalities 11% Other 46.1% Caught-in Fatalities 5% Struck-by Fatalities 9.7% Other 37.5% Caught-in Fatalities 7.7% Electrical Fatalities 7.8% Fatalities from Falls 30% Fatalities from Falls 34.9% California 2005 102 Total Fatalities Electrical Fatalities 10.1% United States 2006 1226 Total Fatalities
What Are the 4 Leading Causes of Death in Construction? • Falls • Struck-by hazards • Electrical hazards • Caught-in/between hazards
Focus Four OSHA Citations • 85% of all citations and 90% of dollars in OSHA construction fines are related to the Focus Four hazards. • 79% of all construction fatalities are related to the Focus Four hazards.
Cal/OSHA’s High Hazard List in Construction • Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors • Drywall and Insulation Contractors • Finish Carpentry Contractors
Session Objectives By the end of the session students will learn: • The four main causes of fall fatalities. • How to prevent falls. • How to use a personal fall protection system. • How to use ladders safely.
What Occupations Have the Highest Death Rates From Falls? • Roofers • Construction Laborers • Painters • Carpenters • Ironworkers
Falls Are Number One • Falls are the leading cause of construction fatalities. • Falls accounted for 34% of construction deaths nationwide in 2006. Have you, or anyone you know, had a fall on the job? What happened?
Ironworker Dies After Falling Off Beam (California Case Study) • Break into small groups. • Take 5-10 minutes to read the case study and discuss the question. • Report your answer back to the class.
What Should Have Been Done to Prevent This Accident? Investigators said employers should: • Require everyone working at heights to wear fall protection equipment. • Make sure openings are properly covered or otherwise protected. • If possible, provide alternate means of access to the work, such as an aerial lift (zoom boom).
What Are The Main Causes of Fall Fatalities? • Unprotected sides and edges, roof and wall openings, and floor holes • Improper scaffold construction • Improper use of portable ladders • Falls from girders and structural steel • Unguarded protruding steel rebars
Fatal Falls in Construction by Type Causes of death from falls in construction, 1992-2005
Protecting Workers From Falling Off an Edge When workers are on a surface with an unprotected side or edge greater than 7.5 feet above the lower level, Cal/OSHA says employers must provide: • A guardrail system, • A safety net, or • A fall arrest system such as a lifeline and harness.
Can You Catch Yourself If You Fall? No! • The average person’s reaction time is half a second. In that time you fall 4 feet. • Gravity pulls you down and your speed quickly increases. • A person who weighs 200 pounds and falls 6 feet will hit the ground with almost 10,000 pounds of force. Catching yourself during a fall only happens in the movies.
Unsafe Covers • Covers over openings must be properly marked, positively affixed, and capable of supporting twice the intended load. • Markings used should be understandable by all employees, including those who may not speak or read English.
Working on Scaffolds • Scaffold deaths account for 9% of construction deaths. • About 1 in 5 of the fatal falls in construction are from scaffolds.
Cal/OSHA Scaffold Requirements • Must be designed by a “qualified” person. • A “competent” person must inspect a scaffold before each shift and after anything happens that could affect the structure.
More Scaffold Safety Requirements • Scaffolds must be at least 10 feet from energized power lines. • Must be able to support their own weight and at least 4 times the intended load. • Must have toeboards and guardrails.
Improper Scaffold Construction • No guardrails on sides or ends of scaffold. • No safe access to scaffold platforms. • Platforms are not fully planked from side to side. • Missing toeboards.
Steel Erectors • 35 ironworkers die each year during steel erection. • Fall arrest systems for steel erectors are difficult to set up.
Cal/OSHA’s Steel Erection Standard • All steel erection employees (except connectors) working on an unprotected side or edge more than 15 feet high must use fall protection. • Connectors must use fall protection when working two stories or 30 feet above a lower level.
Not Wearing Fall Protection on Roof Truss • Man on truss is not using fall protection. • Cal/OSHA requires fall protection when employees are walking or working on top plates, joists, rafters, trusses, beams, or similar structural members over 15 feet above the grade or floor level below.
Protruding Rebar Hazards • Guard all protruding ends of steel rebar with rebar caps or wooden troughs, or • Bend rebar so exposed ends are no longer upright. • When working above exposed rebar, fall protection/ prevention is your best defense against impalement.
Methods of Fall Protection • What is the difference between fall protection and fall arrest?
Fall Protection vs. Fall Arrest • Fall protection keeps workers, tools, or materials from falling off, onto, or through working levels. Examples are guardrails and hole covers. • Fall arrest catches workers, tools, or materials after they have fallen, before they strike a lower level. Examples are safety net systems and personal fall protection systems.
Personal Fall Protection Systems (PFP) • Employer must fit and train each worker about PFPs. • A “competent” person must train workers about types of fall hazards, how to protect yourself, and limitations of PFPs.
What Are The Components of a Personal Fall Protection System? • Body harness • Lanyard and connectors • D-ring • Anchorage point
Training for Fall Arrest Systems Required training should include: • An explanation of the company’s fall protection policies and systems • Selection and proper use of Fall Arrest Systems and related equipment.
Ladder Accidents • Each year, about 50 construction workers are killed by falls from ladders. • Most deaths happen from 10 feet or lower. • Twice as many falls occur when stepping down ladders than when going up ladders. • The main cause of falls from straight and extension ladders is the ladder sliding off its base.