Construction workers in South Carolina, as elsewhere, are at a high risk for on-the-job accidents, many of which can be fatal. About 20 percent of all private sector employee deaths are composed of construction site accidents. OSHA stated that 1,000 construction deaths occurred in 2016 and that 60 percent of them were preventable. These are the five leading causes of construction deaths.
Construction workers in South Carolina who work in high places know that many safety rules must be followed to prevent falls. Authorities at the construction site of the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort are continuing to look for the cause of a scaffold collapse that killed two men August 29. The local sheriff's office has started a death investigation. A spokeswoman for the department said that they want to be certain that it was an accident.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released bulletins that indicate host employers and staffing agencies have shared responsibility for the safety of temporary workers. Specifically, the bulletins address protections from noise and respiratory hazards. Because OSHA is a federal agency, its rules and regulations apply in South Carolina and across the U.S.
OSHA has released two bulletins reminding staffing agencies and host employers that they must protect temporary workers from noise exposure and respiratory hazards. This is part of OSHA's Temporary Worker Initiative, so employers in South Carolina should take note.
South Carolina workers, especially those who work with machines, know that safety is of utmost importance in the workplace. They may not be aware, however, that there are measures they or their employers can take to maintain a safe working environment. Using equipment can speed up the work process, but any machine can become harmful if not used properly.
South Carolina, like most states, has not instituted any protective heat standards for indoor and outdoor workers. OSHA has established no federal standards either, but 130 groups recently came together petitioning the organization to begin the rulemaking process for such standards. The groups also laid out several provisions that they believe should be included in the provisions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report in December 2017 that provides some important data on fatal work injuries during the year 2016. Truck and sales drivers in South Carolina should know that the industry they work in experienced the highest number of fatalities of any industry that year: 918 in all. This can be startling considering that the industry with the second-highest number, farming, incurred 260 deaths.
According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released in December 2017, there were 5,190 work fatalities in the U.S. in 2016. This represents a 7 percent increase from 2015. As for which industries were the most hazardous, the Bureau found that the trucking industry saw the most fatalities: 918 in all that year. The second highest number was in the farming industry with 260 reported deaths. South Carolina residents may want to know about the other figures that are included in the report.
Heat and humidity are part of life in South Carolina. Unfortunately, this means that outdoor workers in the state have a heightened risk for heat stroke, a serious and potentially fatal condition. Heat strokes can strike workers even in weather that only reaches the high 80s. Late spring and early summer heat waves present the greatest risks because people might not be acclimated to higher temperatures or mindful of the dangers. Fortunately, employers and supervisors have many strategies to call upon to prevent heat strokes or catch them early.
The adage, 'Watch where you're going" certainly applies to all South Carolina workers, especially those who may be employed in the construction trades. Workers who don't pay attention to where they're going could end up dead as a result of a slip, fall or trip.