Does anyone know that in the United States, one in each five workplace fatalities takes place in the construction industry? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presented these findings and they keep presenting them at numerous conferences, seminars, and workshops each year.

Safety concerns are a genuine concern. They are also a genuine challenge as in the United States, OSHA is the main authority that oversees all hazards and safety pertaining to all sorts of workplaces across America. Construction sites are thoroughly covered.

OSHA plays a critical and genuine role in ensuring safety standards are implemented, applied, and respected in most workplaces and construction sites. Most construction sites and companies need to learn from guidelines and reports set forth by OSHA, especially when it comes to violations of common safety standards.

Moreover, if managers can check a lot of these reports, it is easy to observe that these violations keep popping up year after year. If construction companies really do care about their workers and want to be ahead in terms of safety measures, they need to make sure these issues don’t pop up at their sites. This is the way they can be on the good list of OSHA.

Which common violations take place at construction sites that are clear and common violations of OSHA codes?

Dispute avoidance experts have decided to come forward and lend a helping hand. They have compiled together a list of the most common violations found in OSHA’s reports as well as in their own findings. If construction companies can keep them under control then their business will thrive.

Protection from falls from heights

Despite the fact that OSHA has issued strict guidelines regarding protection from falls at construction sites, this continues to be the number one safety violation happening at construction sites. This is a cause of concern as it accounted for more than one-third of all fatalities at construction sites in 2019. This highlights the core importance of addressing this issue at hand.

The construction industry requires workers to work at heights. This is why guarding against fall hazards should be a top priority. As per the standards of OSHA, all construction companies need to provide proper fall protection (1926.0501). This includes covering skylights, provision of guardrails on ramps and stairs, and the like. 

However, there are many less apparent hazards that won’t be easily noticed. There are numerous hidden holes or obstructions on numerous walkways which can cause disastrous accidents. In the same way, dangerous equipment and wall openings are quite significant threats that should never be underestimated.

Countering such risks is mandatory. Both contractors and construction companies must create and implement a well-thought fall and injury prevention program. This includes employees wearing hard hats/helmets and setting up barriers in areas requiring them.

Lack of training among workers

It is key to ensure all workers are working in a safe manner at construction sites. A part of this involves imparting to employees a comprehensive and proper training program on all aspects of work. Data exhibits that comprehensive training programs can help save lives. A workplace culture designed and developed around safety benefits employees, employers, and workers alike.

Construction companies need to take time to invest time in providing thorough safety training for the construction team and fostering a safe working environment. Employees who are trained are better off being equipped properly as they can recognize hazards, follow adequate protocols and reduce on-site risks too.

For instance, the risk of accidents involving forklifts is quite low when these machines are operated by qualified and well-trained operators. It is because employers clearly tell them about fundamental guidelines of forklift safety which need to be followed at all times.

Protection for both the eyes and the face

More than 1400 OSHA violations happen each year. OSHA has an Eye and Face Protection Standard (under the code 1926.102) which outlines specific guidelines for protecting employees from hazards. The hazards are chemicals, flying debris, harmful dust particles, and vice versa. 

In simple words, construction companies should give employees gear to protect their eyes and face, if the risk of injury to those areas is high.

Caring for worker Health and Safety (HSE) is important

This standard means that employers cannot ask their employees to work in hazardous environments under any cost. They also cannot do so in conditions that are unhealthy, unsanitary, and not worthy. The standard also makes it mandatory for contractors to supply workers with the needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) along with proper training.

Part of the process also involves ensuring each worker understands and is aware of the way of working with the tools they have (like power tools, digging tools, and the like). Moreover, each worker needs to understand the consequences of ignoring their training and forsaking safety requirements when using power tools.

Provision of protection gear for the head

The mandate of protection gear for heads is set forth by OSHA. It mandates using head protection gear among all workers at construction sites. This helps reduce the risks of injuries to the head.

This also includes potential injuries from the impact of objects or falls, falling or flying objects plus burns and electric shocks. Fundamentally speaking, any construction project which is more than one story makes it necessary to follow this safety regulation.

Sadly, violation of this principle is quite common at most construction sites. OSHA inspectors have found this many times at the construction sites they have visited. A reason for not complying with such may either be a lack of awareness about the risks involved or ignorance regarding the protection headgear can provide. 

This phenomenon is quite common among small contractors who are not familiar with large projects. They hence aren’t familiar with the required safety standards.

Another reason why most construction companies and contractors forego this standard is due to economic reasons. Large-scale projects employ a lot of workers. Providing helmets for everyone does add up to the costs.

However, this makes them short-sighted. Project Advisory experts explain the potential legal liabilities, medical bills, and compensation will be costing them more than providing workers with the needed safety gear.