IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS
FOR SAFER WORKPLACES
CONS TRUC TION and service personnel are
generally familiar with
the role of the
Administration (OSHA). But how
much do you really know about the
agency, the problems it is trying to
address and your role as an
THE AGENC Y
Created in 1970 to administer the
Occupational Safety and Health Act
(OSH Act), OSHA’s mission is to “assure
safe and healthful working conditions for
working men and women by setting and
enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”
Federal OSHA is a small agency; even
with the assistance of its state partners, only
2,200 inspectors are responsible for the
health and safety of 130 million workers at
more than 8 million worksites around the
nation. That translates to about one compliance officer for every 59,000 workers.
OSHA obviously cannot inspect 8
is the president of Platinum
Engineering & Safety, Inc.
that could cause death or serious physical harm.
2. Fatalities and catastrophes—incidents
that involve a death or the hospitalization of three or more employees.
3. Complaints—allegations of hazards or
4. Referrals of hazard information from
other federal, state or local agencies,
individuals, organizations or the media.
6. Planned or programmed investigations.
Following those priorities, federal
million workplaces each year. Instead,
the agency seeks to focus its inspection resources on the most hazardous
workplaces according to the following
1. Imminent danger situations—hazards
OSHA conducted 39,228 inspections
in FY 2013. An additional 50,436 state
inspections were conducted.
Safety in the workplace is a real issue.
In 2012, 4,383 workers were
killed on the job in the United
States—on average, more than 84
per week ( 12 deaths every day).
Of these fatalities, 775 were in
construction. The leading causes
of worker deaths on construction
sites were falls, being struck by an
object, electrocution, and caught-in/
between injuries. These “Fatal
Four” were responsible for nearly three out
of five construction-worker deaths.
In terms of overall violations, the
Top Ten most frequently cited OSHA-
standards violations in 2013 were the
1. Fall protection—construction
2. Hazard communication—general
3. Scaffolding—general requirements,
4. Respiratory protection—general
BY OBJEC T
CONSTRUCTION’S FATAL FOUR
2% 36% 9% 10%