It seems as if we’re regularly reporting on preventable trench-related injuries and deaths. While it shouldn’t be a “routine” part of the job, unfortunately, it seems like it is. In late November, OSHA reported the number of fatalities in 2016 was 23 (as of today, there isn’t an updated 2016 number to report). In both 2014 and 2015, there were only 11 fatalities. Given how many folks are working in construction across the country, you might think 23 is a low number. To us, it is a frustrating reality, since trench-related deaths are so easily preventable.
Cincinnati-area OSHA director Ken Montgomery attributed the rise in fatalities to an increase in business, thus leading to an increase in exposure for workers. In fact, fatalities in construction overall are the highest they’ve been since 2008, which was also the last time the employment rate in the industry was as high as it is today. It seems there is a direct correlation between the health of the industry and the number of accidents.
In case you hadn’t heard, OSHA has issued a new requirement, effective January 1, 2017 that requires companies to electronically submit injury and illness data. Employers with 20 – 249 employees in high hazard industries must submit data from their 2016 300 A form prior to July 1. Companies with more than 250 employees that are covered by recordkeeping requirements will need to do the same. You can visit the OSHA website for more information on reporting a workplace injury, illness, or fatality.
As always, Luby Shoring Services is available to provide support and guidance during your next construction project. We are well-versed in all OSHA safety regulations and can get you the right equipment for the job. Keep your team safe and avoid those harsh penalties. Give us a call at 636-660-7467.