Exclusive profile: Construction Industry Safety & health
The “Fatal Four” – Falls, Struck by object (contact), Caught-in/between (contact), Electrocution
• Total recordable injury and illness cases per 100 workers in the construction industry: 4.0 (2010) 3.9 (2011) 3.7 (2012) 3.8 (2013)
• Total recordable rate all industries 2013: 3.3 cases per 100 full-timers
• Construction fatalities: 802 (2010) 781 (2011) 849 (2012) 824 (2013)
• Total private industry fatalities 2013: 4,405
• Construction fatalities: 37% falls, slips and trips; 12% roadway; 10% struck by object or equipment; 8.9% electrocutions (2012)
OSHA Construction Industry Enforcement Data
33,001 total citations, 13,160 inspections, $61,010,839 total proposed penalties Oct 2014- Sept. 2014
Frequently cited OSHA standards for the construction industry Oct 2013 – Sept 2014
• Fall protection
• General requirements
• Training requirements
• Eye and face protection
• Head protection
• Hazard Communication
• General safety and health provisions
• Aerial lifts
• Special excavation requirements
• Fall protection systems criteria and practices
• Wiring methods, components and equipment for general use
• Respiratory protection
Construction Disasters in American History
•The Hoover Dam One estimate puts the total death toll at 112. The first death was surveyor J.G Tierny in 1922. Tierny drowned in the Colorado River while scouting the best location for the dam. Tierny’s son Patrick was the last person to die during the dam’s construction, falling to his death exactly 13 years to the day of J.G Tierny’s death.
• Willow Island During the construction of a cooling tower at Willow Island, West Virginia in 1978, the scaffolding collapsed, causing 51 workers to fall to their deaths. OSHA determined there was a lack of ladders for escape, bolts were loose or missing on certain parts of the structure, and concrete was not given enough time to properly settle.
• Hawk’s Nest Tunnel Construction began in 1927 to create a 3-mile tunnel beneath a mountain in West Virginia to help generate power for a local plant. During the construction, silica was discovered. Workers were asked to start mining the silica; almost none received proper respiratory protection. Workers became ill with silicosis. Death toll estimates ranged from 476 to more than 1,000.
• East 51st Street In 2008 a fatal incident occurred in New York City during the construction of a 40-story apartment building on East 51st Street. Workers were attaching a steel collar in order to raise a tower crane higher when it snapped and fell, killing seven people.
Construction Industry Safety and Health Major Issues
• Construction inspections comprise 60% of OSHA’s total inspections.
• In 2009, preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that there were 816 fatal on-the-job injuries to construction workers – more than in any other single industry sector and nearly one out of every five work-related deaths in the U.S. that year.
• In 2009, construction also had two of the ten occupations with the highest fatal injury rates: roofers at 34.7 fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers and structural iron and steel workers at 30.3.
• Language barriers
• Vulnerability of Latino workers (lack of training, lack of PPE, high fatal and nonfatal injuries)
• Contractor safety oversight
• Temporary worker, contract worker, day laborer safety
• Transitory workforce (one study: approximately 50% of individuals on-site at the beginning of a given month will remain on-site at the beginning of the next month, 25% will remain at the end of the following month)
• Lone worker safety / prevalence of autonomous working conditions; little interaction with upper management
• Apprentice workers reluctant to “make waves”
• Suspected significant numbers of construction workers conceal, do not report, work injuries
• Importance of daily toolbox talks led by foremen
• Importance of worksite cultures of safety allowing workers to speak up about hazards, injuries
• Aging workforce (Center for the Protection of Workers Rights- CPWR): The average age of construction workers jumped to 41.5 years in 2010, two years older than in 2007, and 5.5 years older than 25 years ago. The age group suffering the largest proportion of both fatal and nonfatal work injuries has shifted from those aged 25-34 years in 1992 to those aged 45-54 years in 2010. The injury types and patterns differ significantly among age groups. While older workers had a lower rate of nonfatal injuries than younger workers, they spent more days away from work after an injury, which significantly increased their workers’ compensation costs.
• Chronic diseases and functional limitations among older construction workers
• Chronic back pain among older construction workers
How Fluor manages health & safety
Fluor Corporation is the nation’s second-largest construction firm, with 2013 revenues of $22.1 billion. Fluor’s office and field performance represented 394 million self-perform and subcontractor work hours. In those hours, Fluor experienced a slight decline in the Total Recordable Case Incidence Rate from 2012 and a slight increase in the Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred Rate per 200,000 global work hours worked. The Total Recordable Case Incidence Rate was 0.30 in 2013 and the Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred Incidence Rate was 0.13.
Health, Safety, and Environment Management System
From the company’s web site: “Fluor’s Health, Safety and Environmental Management System is designed to integrate the management of HSE practices into one program that embraces a project or activity from beginning to end and is consistent throughout the company globally. The use of an integrated, consistent company-wide approach has provided efficiencies in the execution of work; competitive advantage to clients through reliability and reduced risk; improved tracking that indicates the manner in which the company is managing its HSE impact; and greater opportunities to provide solutions to HSE challenges.
“Fluor approaches health, safety, and the environment from a combination of bedrock principles and extensive knowledge obtained over many decades of experience. Fluor’s achievements are based on high-impact activities and uncompromised values.”
ZERO Incidents Program
“Fluor’s ZERO Incidents Program is designed to recognize superior and sustained HSE performance, upgrading the Fluor performance, recognition, and reward program started in 1994 to achieve zero accidents, and setting a new industry standard for safety globally.”
MS20SM (Managing Safety to Zero)
“At site locations, Fluor’s proprietary MS20 program measures HSE indicators to aid improvement of working conditions on a continual basis. MS20 is a web-based, centralized database program for tracking and trending leading and trailing indicators. Information obtained from key indicators, such as daily audits, near-miss incidents, and hazards eliminated, are input to produce trend results. Project management analyzes these trend results to prevent or reduce incidents.“
Fluor leaders are held responsible and accountable for providing the financial, human, and organizational resources necessary to ensure the effective implementation and maintenance of the company’s HSE management system. Core Fluor HSE values:
• Promotion of good health
• Prevention of injuries and ill health
• Efficient use of energy and resources
• Minimization of waste and pollution prevention
• Effective employee engagement in Fluor’s HSE program
• Compliance with legal and other requirements
• Providing clients with designs that are safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sound
• Continual improvement of HSE management, performance and culture
• Integrating HSE into business systems and processes
• Defining roles and responsibilities for personnel throughout the organization
• Promoting a proactive culture and healthy lifestyle
• Identifying risks arising from all phases of company activities and reducing those risks to the lowest practical levels
• Establishing ambitious goals, monitoring performance, adopting best practices, and taking action to continually improve
This policy is communicated to all employees, contractors, and others working on Fluor’s behalf and made available to the public and other interested parties. It is reviewed annually.
The policy is most recently signed in January, 2015 by David T. Seaton, chairman and chief executive officer, Fluor Corporation.