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The need for proactive safety at construction sites

To effectively reduce workplace accidents, contractors in New York and around the country should be implementing proactive measures such as safety orientation for new employees and drug screening programs. This is one of the conclusions that can be drawn from a report recently published by the industry group known as the Associated Builders and Contractors.

The risk of construction site accidents and serious injury situations caused by falling debris and unsteady surfaces can be effectively reduced with actions such as quick safety meetings conducted right on the construction site. Toolbox talks can be held after breaks for greater effectiveness, and the success of the program will also depend on the engagement of everyone involved in the project, not just the construction laborers.

Research conducted by the Center for Construction Research and Training suggests that proactive safety measures are not being observed or implemented at many sites. One statistic cited in this report indicates that the rate of workers injured when getting caught between objects has increased by more than 30 percent from 2011 to 2015, and this coincides with the recovery of the real estate economy. Another troubling statistic is related to vehicle deaths: More than 800 construction workers died between 2011 and 2015 in this type of accident.

Proactive safety requires a certain level of dedication by company executives, managers and supervisors. Contractors may cut corners with regard to safety programs because they become tedious or present time constraints, and this is certainly an incorrect and dangerous approach. Whenever construction workers feel that their injuries may have been prevented by safety measures that were not implemented by their employers, they might wish to discuss their options with a law firm that focuses on liability and construction accidents.

Source: Construction Dive, "ABC: Proactive measures can boost jobsite safety by 670%", Kim Slowey, 03/23/2018.

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