In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Texas has certainly seen a spike in demand for construction work to make repairs to countless damaged homes. This demand can make tasks incredibly time-sensitive, sending many contractors and workers in the profession into a whirlwind of stress. Along with exhaustion and overwork, this situation can make for a dangerous mix while on the job.
Although clear information has yet to surface regarding the effects Texas weather extremes have had on safety in the construction industry, there has been a considerable amount of media coverage on the issue statewide. At the time of one 2015 article from KUT 90.5 News, Texas led the nation in construction worker deaths. An entirely separate issue on its own — that of the legal status of construction workers in the country — has, in the opinon of many, factored into the underreporting of countless workplace accidents. KUT revealed one study’s shocking statistic that 60 percent of Texas construction workers surveyed claimed they had never received basic on-the-job training. Along with the high demand for work in recent months and the pressure to complete projects, this statistic could be a recipe for disaster.
A reflection in environmental, health and safety resource EHS Today takes a look at the reality of construction accidents in the country. The most common cause of fatal accidents include electrocution, falls and getting caught between objects and heavy equipment, but the risks do not end there: a large percentage of workers are struck by falling objects or are victims of powered industrial truck incidents. EHS urges employees to address situations in a prompt and efficient manner by first seeking medical attention if needed, maintaining awareness of statute of limitations and to document all aspects of an accident for utmost protection.