OSHA and the Construction Industry

In the 1970’s, the Occupational Safety and Health Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, otherwise known as OSHA. Operating within the Department of Labor, OSHA’s role is to help minimize workplace hazards and implement safety and health programs. They seem to be doing a pretty good job too, considering workplace fatality rates have dropped 66% since OSHA began working with employers in the 70’s; while occupational illness and injury rates have dropped 67%. This is no small feat, considering U.S. employment has almost doubled since then.

There are a bunch of industry standards every business with one employee or more has to follow, so if you work for a business or own one, you’ve probably at least heard of OSHA. They provide a list of employer responsibilities in regards to keeping employees safe, and they give advice for employees on their rights in the workplace. It’s very likely, you’ve seen their signage up in your workplace’s break room or some other prominent location. OSHA provides very detailed regulations regarding safety standards that each business must adhere to. The construction industry is one OSHA has its eye on, as it can be a hazardous and sometimes dangerous workplace. They even list out regulations specific to construction, and inspections (both announced and unannounced) are not uncommon.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of the 4,251 worker fatalities in 2014, fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 20.5% (874). We think you’ll agree, that’s a pretty scary number. At Baratto Brothers Construction, we take OSHA’s standards and regulations very seriously. Our employees are family members, and it’s our job to protect them on every job site – and it’s not only because of the sometimes dangerous locations we have to work on; like high roof pitches and tight enclosed spaces.

The last thing any construction company would ever want is to lose an employee, but especially while on the clock. Unfortunately, it still happens. OSHA has a list of leading causes of work-related deaths for contractors, which they’ve dubbed Construction’s “Fatal Four.” According to their website, by eliminating the “Fatal Four,” 508 workers would be saved a year.

What are Construction’s “Fatal Four” exactly?

  • Falls – 349 of the 874 deaths in construction in 2014 (39.9%)
  • Electrocutions – 74 (8.5%)
  • Struck by an object – 73 (8.4%)
  • Caught-in/between – 12 (1.4%)

Much of this type of workplace tragedy can be avoided by following OSHA’s guidelines and using some common sense on both the employer and the employee. Baratto Brothers is committed to ensuring our contractors are safe and secure, and we have always done our utmost to train them on job site safety. Reducing OSHA’s numbers of workplace accidents and injuries is a priority for us and have been from day one. There’s nothing better than another great year with our employees; especially one where no one has become an OSHA workplace accident statistic.

If you’re looking to start a new commercial or residential construction project, renovation, or just curious about what we offer at Baratto Brothers, contact us today by filling out our contact form, stopping in to say hello, or by giving us a call at (218) 692-1070. We’re here to help you sift through your options, and come up with an affordable plan that delivers the results you’re looking for. We’ll do everything we can to become your Builder for Life.