After more than 30 construction workers died on the job in the last three years, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed a bill into law, which will institute mandatory construction safety training standards for all city workers. Read more
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) inspectors hand out citations across the country for a multitude of violations. Without fail, year after year, the same on-the-job hazards rank at or near the top of the list. General contractors, subcontractors and others often receive construction violations over and over, because they fail to learn how to recognize and avoid these three common work hazards. Read more
Road construction zones are among the most hazardous types of work sites in America. In 2015 alone, there were 130 worker fatalities at these locations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In light of this ever-present danger, there are many workplace safety strategies construction companies can adopt to protect their employees from harm. Read more
With heavy machinery to operate and heights to navigate, a cloudy mind is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, construction workers still abuse alcohol and drugs in high numbers. In response, construction companies have been using drug screening as a way to reduce injuries and cut insurance costs. Read more
AGC Focuses on Highway Work Zone Safety
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is an important organization that protects the safety of contractors across the nation. Currently, it is heavily focused on worker safety in highway work zones. Highway construction is one of the most dangerous aspects of the construction and general contracting industry, and the AGC highway safety efforts are there to act as something of a knight in shining armor for contractors in danger.
A New Study
The AGC has recently completed a new highway work zone safety study, and the results are staggering. A full 45 percent of all highway contractors have been placed in direct danger when a vehicle crashed into their work zones. These numbers are astounding and represent thousands upon thousands of workers in serious danger every year. While drivers have a higher fatality rate than workers, any fatalities from accidents are unacceptable.
Trust Fund Shortfall
The problem is even worse: in 2014, the highway trust fund, which is imperative for funding new projects, had a serious shortfall that threatened to cut transit funding by over $50 billion and cost nearly 2 million jobs across the industry. Not only does this mean fewer sorely needed highway construction projects, it means that those projects that are undertaken could face severe understaffing. When fewer people are working on a job, there are greater chances for oversights, errors, omissions and accidents that result from exhaustion or mistakes.
Hardhats for Highways
The AGC has created a new program to help address these budget shortfalls. The program, called Hardhats for Highways, seeks to encourage people to contact elected officials and impress upon them the importance of funding highway transit construction projects. It is vital that Congress understands that people rely upon federal investments to transportation.
Those who would like to help make a difference should place decals obtained from the project on company hardhats, call representatives to sit down and discuss the issues, engage them and urge employees to write letters and send emails. Spread the word as much as possible. Take photos and send them to the Hardhats for Highways website and inform others by including information in company newsletters, staff meetings and training sessions.
When it comes to your own job sites, increase safety by increasing training and certifications. The AGC and ATSSA provide training and certification for construction workers and flaggers. This training can make the difference between safe work zones and fatal accidents that can not only cost you in dollars, but in tragic loss of human life.
It cannot be stressed enough: there is no way to take highway safety in work zones too seriously. Of course, it is also vital to carry the right insurance, including workers compensation, liability and other job-specific coverage, to reduce your own liability and cost issues when the unthinkable does occur.
Construction work is exceptionally hazardous. AGC highway safety activities are making headway in reducing fatalities, but if you need more information, take a look at some more information about their activities, then get in touch with us today for answers to all of your insurance and liability questions.