Essay Implementing Safe Design in Construction

Essay Implementing Safe Design in Construction

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Introduction

In the United States, construction has always been one of the most dangerous industries to work in. The number of fatalities that occur in this industry year after year demonstrate this. In 2014, 19.6% of worker fatalities, in private industry, were in construction (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015) despite the industry comprising only 6.8% of the total work force. This epidemic is not unique to the United States. Essentially every country faces similar problems regarding construction safety. For example, in 2004 the Australian construction industry employed approximately 8% of the countries workforce. However, workers compensation statistics indicated that the industry’s incidence rate was 28.6 per 1000 employees, nearly twice the overall industry average (Zou, Redman & Windon, 2008). Efforts to improve upon these dismal statistics have intensified in recent years in large part due to the escalation of successful liability suits and the effect the rising cost of workers compensation insurance has on a company’s ability to do business.

Managing Occupational safety and health in the construction industry is difficult to manage for various reasons. The ever-changing environment, a persistently varying workforce and the various building methods utilized by the industry complicate safety measures. Those in the construction industry often view safety as problematic and as result safety solutions are only applied to the minimum limit allowed by law. A common outlook in the construction industry is that construction work is characteristically unsafe. This outlook creates problems. Physical work conditions do not and should not contain unnecessary hazards. There are several solutions to minimize these ris...


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...y. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 3(1), 32-41.

Langan, E., 2009. Blueprint for Action. The Safety & Health Practitioner, 27(11), 67-69.

Renshaw, F. M., 2013. Design: Methods for Implementing PTD. Professional Safety, 58(3), 50-55. http://search.proquest.com.jproxy.lib.ecu.edu/docview/1330852566?accountid=10639 (September 9, 2015)

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 2012. Prevention Through Design http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ptd/ (September 28, 2015)

Toole, M., 2013. Prevention Through Design, Design for Construction Safety. http://www.designforconstructionsafety.org/history.shtml (September 11, 2015)

Zou, P. X. W., Redman, S., & Windon, S., 2008. Case Studies on Risk and Opportunity at Design Stage of Building Projects in Australia: Focus on Safety. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 4, 221-238.

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