This third article in our series of Jobsite Safety explains which items OSHA will concentrate on if they come to your job site. Sometimes one gets the impression that OSHA is the "bad guy" and a visit by an OSHA inspector is the last thing your company would want. It is true that OSHA visits have put companies out of business where serious violations exist. So OSHA visits need to be taken seriously. But if the emphases of the previous two articles have been taken to heart—i. e. your top leadership buys in to the idea that Safety is the right thing to do and has set up a program that incorporates training and safe practices in the field—you have little to fear (provided your record keeping is good). If you are a company with safety at heart, then you are totally in line with OSHA's objectives and you will be able to see them as an ally.
OSHA has developed a special list, the Focus Four, for the construction industry out of a very practical concern. Of all industries in the U. S., Construction ranks at the top in terms of fatal accidents. According to their statistics compiled between 1992 and 2015, Construction had the greatest number of fatal work injuries—937 of them. This exceeded the numbers for the next sector (Transportation and Warehousing) by almost 200 fatalities (over 20%).
In July and August of this year alone, OSHA reported that it had to investigate the following incidents: worker died after falling and striking head, worker fatally crushed by concrete, worker died after being struck by falling tree, worker died after falling and striking head on floor, worker killed in fall from roof, worker died after being struck by falling tree top, and worker died after being struck by falling truss—among others.
Thankfully, accidents like this don't happen to everyone all the time. But that may be a two-edged sword. Because it hasn't happened to you, or someone you know, it is easy to get complacent and not do what is necessary to prevent incidents