OSHA, Safety, and the role of Technology in Construction

DominicroundDominic Delfino
Construction Specialist

Are you fully compliant to OSHA rules? On the occasion of Construction Safety Week May 7-11, you may want to check if you’re not one of the 200,000 companies which failed to fulfill their reporting obligations to the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA). At Fieldwire, we believe that technology can be very helpful to ensure safety on the jobsite. Our inspection features can provide valuable assistance in this respect.

image

Between 1970 and 2016, worker deaths in America have decreased from 38 a day to 14 a day thanks to drastic safety improvements in working conditions. This task is precisely the main mission of OSHA. This agency from the U.S. department of Labor regularly publishes new standards to ensure workers’ health and safety is not put at risk. For the construction sector, OSHA proposed last year a standard to limit worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica and will start enforcement of a new rule to limit exposure to beryllium and prevent lung cancer in American workers this month.

This is a step in the right direction, yet some experts criticize OSHA’s laxity in enforcing some of its standards. Bloomberg Environment revealed the lack of compliance with the federal injury reporting rule, which can now be done via electronic submission of Form 300A. Form 300A is a summary of work related injuries and illnesses which are supposed to be logged in Form 300 throughout the year. This obligation applies to all companies in high or medium hazard industries, and exempts small companies employing less than 10 people. According to Bloomberg Environment, when OSHA expected 350,000 worksites to file electronically their 2016 summary of injuries and illnesses, 200,000 did not. Interestingly, another 60,000 worksites submitted their Form 300A without being compelled to. This sheds light on the confusion that reigns on the subject.

image

OSHA however doesn’t stop inspecting and imposing fines for noncompliance. During the period October 2016 through September 2017, OSHA imposed fines totaling almost $200M. Construction is the industry with the most fines, totaling over $90M, far away from manufacturing which is just above $60M. The two most cited standards in the construction industry are due to Fall Protection and Scaffolding. Falls in this sector represent more than a third of fatal accidents, making this the leading cause of deaths.

Fieldwire’s reporting options will help you keep track of your projects and ensure compliance with safety standards. Our construction software also enables foremen, supers and engineers to report every safety concern they encounter, instantly notifying the concerned subcontractor in the application.

This year, Construction Safety Week focused on the power of safe choices at all levels. A good opportunity to engage discussions on safety with your team. You can also participate by making a pledge and sharing your safe choices with a photo to help create a mosaic.

More on the benefits of using Fieldwire here.

Fieldwire is free for small teams
Get unlimited sheets on paid plans

Sign up for FREERight action arrow white