For construction workers, safety awareness remains a priority every day. This group of workers faces hazards that most people in the sit-at-your-desk working world can only imagine.
Construction worker injuries and deaths are often attributed to what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA ) has dubbed the “Fatal Four.” Ranked in order, they are: falls; struck by object; electrocution; and caught-in/caught-between. Falls continue to account for the most construction-related deaths.
Recently, the Center for Construction and Training (CPWR) reported that the fourth category – caught-in/between – has seen an increase in construction deaths. Such incidents may include collapsing structures or equipment, excavation or trenching cave-ins, landslides or caught by running equipment or machinery.
According to the CPWR, construction fatalities from caught-in/between incidents increased 33 percent during the five-year period from 2011 to 2015. The number tops the 26 percent increase in all construction accidents during the same period.
Highlights from the report
The report noted that 275 construction workers died in caught-in/between incidents during that period; the most fatalities in this category than any other industry. Highlights from the report include:
· Nearly 69 percent of the deaths were caused by being crushed or caught in a collapse of materials.
· Roughly 93 percent of the non-fatal injuries were caused by equipment or other objects.
· Caught-in/between construction deaths increased 33 percent in 2015 with 68 fatalities compared with 2011 when 51 worker deaths were reported.
· Ironworkers, excavating or loading machine operators had the highest rate of caught-in/between fatalities.
· Older construction workers had a higher risk of dying.
· After the construction industry, manufacturing (244), agriculture (197) and waste management (72) had the next highest number of fatalities from caught-in/between incidents from 2011 to 2015.
The CPRW’s report concluded that caught-in/between incidents are preventable, and that companies must focus on consistent and improved training, engineering controls, safety matters and stressing the importance of personal protective equipment.