Industry Leads Number of Workplace Fatalities
The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS) has released the national census of fatal occupational injuries
for 2006. While the overall fatal work injury rate for the United
States was lower than the rate for any year since the fatality census
was first conducted in 1992, the construction industry accounted
for 1,226 fatal work injuries-the most of any industry sector. This
represented a 3-percent increase over the 2005 total of construction
industry fatalities. Fatalities among specialty trade contractors
rose 6 percent (from 677 fatalities in 2005 to 721 in 2006), due
primarily to higher numbers of fatal work injuries among building
finishing contractors and roofing contractors.
While safety should always be a priority, the increase in construction
industry fatalities and injuries has led the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) to focus on construction site safety.
"OSHA has an emphasis this year on construction sites [safety],"
says Pete Pontikis, senior project manager and safety director at
MTH Industries in Hillside, Ill. He advises other glazing contractors
to "make sure your projects have the proper information on
Among the required information is the OSHA jobsite safety and health
poster, which must be displayed in a conspicuous place where employees
can see it.
MTH offers safety training for specific events, including training
for scaffolding and fall protection. According to the census information,
fatal work injuries involving falls increased 5 percent in 2006
after a sharp decrease in 2005. The 809 fatal falls in 2006 was
the third highest total since 1992, when the fatality census began.
Fatal falls from roofs increased from 160 fatalities in 2005 to
184 in 2006, a rise of 15 percent.
To prevent injuries in any area, construction industry workers-including
glaziers-are required to have training in OSHA's safety standards.
"All of our foremen receive OSHA 30-hour cards, which is the
30-hour construction outreach program," says Pontikis. "That's
all our glaziers and workers and project managers. All of our journeymen
receive a 10-hour card."
Pontikis says MTH also provides project-specific training based
on the jobsite hazards or conditions. "Most larger projects
are requiring now from the subcontractors site-specific safety plan,"
he adds. "The first day your crew starts, you go out and do
The numbers reported in the national census of fatal occupational
injuries for 2006 are preliminary and will be updated in April 2008.
HERE to read the full report.
HERE for further safety information from OSHA.