In November the Bureau of Labor Statistics had some positive news for the U.S. construction industry: when compared with the previous year, 2012 saw fewer nonfatal injuries and illnesses occur on the job—3.7 per 100 full-time workers compared to 3.9 per 100 workers in 2011.

The news coincided with a newly proposed rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that would require larger employers in “high-hazard” industry sectors to electronically submit workplace injury and illness information on a quarterly basis. According to OSHA Chief David Michaels, the new rule would further encourage industry employers to reduce hazards, since instead of simply recording the information in an on-site log they would need to submit it for public posting.

“Public posting of workplace injury and illness information will nudge employers to better identify and eliminate hazards.” said Michaels recently in an article posted on ENR.com. “Employers want to be seen as the top performers in their industry … we believe that responsible employers will want to be recognized as leaders in safety.”

Still More Work to Do: Why Safety Training is Critical

While the number of workplace injuries and illnesses has been declining annually since 2007, the number of fatalities was actually higher in 2012 than in 2011—a definite indication that there is still work to be done when it comes to protecting the lives and health of U.S. construction workers. Implementing a strong safety training program is the first step.

Utilizing data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics can help employers identify gaps in safety training and focus on key topics such as fall protection, electrical safety, power tools and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). “We still have work to do to achieve our goal of a zero-injury jobsite,” Associated Builders and Contractors Director of Safety Chris Williams told ENR.com recently, but he says the recent decline in injuries and illnesses is encouraging and shows recent efforts to improve safety are paying off.

RedVector OSHA-approved Training

RedVector OSHA-approved courses and course packages are an essential component of your safety training program and allow workers to acquire critical knowledge about a variety of OSHA-regulated safety and health topics to help you meet your overall safety goals. In addition, our OSHA 10-hour Construction Program course package helps entry-level workers to obtain their OSHA 10 card via convenient online training. It explains in detail the purpose of OSHA safety standards and what precautions to take to avoid on-the-job hazards.