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SAFETY WEEK: We need 52 of them

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This is from safetyweek2014.com :

“Every year, more than 80,000 workers suffer an injury on construction job sites across the U.S. Any one incident is one too many. Life is too precious to not make safety the number one focus in the U.S. construction industry.”

According to the website, The Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) includes twelve major contractors who come together twice a year for a two-day meeting to discuss worksite safety. Every two years, CISI holds a Safety Summit that includes over 30 major contractors in the U.S. This year, the summit will be held in September and is sponsored by Lane, Fluor and Caterpillar. The goal of CISI is to influence not only those within their group, but others to work safely and elevate safety awareness to a new level in the United States.

Construction_Workers

Image / Paul Heheler via flickr

Ironworkers erecting the steel frame of a new building at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

This year the group held its first “Safety Week” from May 4 to May 10.

As any worker knows, manual labor of any kind– not just construction – involves risk. Safety consciousness is a year-round concern. Labor especially involves two critical danger factors: risk and fatigue.

First, physical labor involves moving objects. Often these are hard, sharp-edged, heavy objects, made of wood or metal. It may involve heat, such as in the welding trade. It may involve power tools: saws, nail guns, chain saws, routers. It may involve heavy mobile equipment: backhoes, cherry pickers, tractors, forklifts, bulldozers. It may involve high-voltage electricity.

All of these items and tools are necessary. All of these items and tools can hurt you.

Now take that risk and multiply it by an 8-hour day – or likely, longer.

Therein lies the second factor: Fatigue.

Example: Construction, the focus of the CISI. Ground must be leveled. A foundation laid, with concrete, brick and mortar. Joists installed. Floors put down. Framing done. Two stories up, three stories up. Roofing done. Ladders climbed. All done under a deadline, and the days grow long.

Another example: A power outage. Power workers know people want their power back on ASAP. They work long hours, and there is pressure to work fast.

And another: Harvest season. Workers know the crop is ripe. Time is limited to pick it, move it, load it, package it. They work long hours, and there is pressure to work fast. As a human being becomes tired he becomes less efficient and more prone to accidents.

The CISI website also offers guidelines on how your company can hold a Safety Week of its own.

People can do everything in their power to prevent accidents. But people get fatigued. Circumstances create pressure to work quickly, perhaps too quickly. Accidents inevitably will happen, if managers and workers are not safety-conscious and vigilant.

And it pays, if you are hurt on the job, to know your rights to workers compensation. An injured worker needs medical attention. Many are facing lost income, yet they still have bills to pay and families to provide for. There is pressure to get back to work – perhaps too soon, before an injury has healed properly.

The workers’ compensation lawyers of Egerton Law have been representing people hurt on the job for more than 50 years and we are committed to our clients’ recovery. Many injured workers have questions. We can answer them.

In the meantime, be careful out there. If you feel safety is not a top priority at your job, you may be able to change that. The CISI website can offer some food for thought.