The National Safety Council today released a special edition of its Journal of Safety Research focused on construction. The special issue includes a research-based case study sharing lessons learned from eight tragic deaths that occurred within 18 months in 2008.
These events occurred at the largest privately owned, commercial construction project in U.S. history, the CityCenter and Cosmopolitan Towers in Las Vegas. Upon completion of safety needs assessment surveys conducted at the worksites, four recommendations for management were compiled.
General contractors need to demonstrate an organizational commitment to safety and "walk the talk."
Training on proactive management skills should be conducted for senior and mid-level managers, engaging them more in safety.
Supervisors should be encouraged to display constructive attitudes, actions, expectations and communications about safety.
Employees need to be empowered to become actively involved in safety.
More than 1,000 construction site fatalities occur in the United States annually. With improved safety and health on worksites, these deaths can be prevented. This special edition of the Journal of Safety Research is the result of collaborative efforts among the National Safety Council, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Center for Construction Research and Training, and the Construction Safety Council. This special issue also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the NIOSH Construction Program.
Also featured in the edition are articles about the influence media can have in improving construction safety and health and emerging challenges facing the construction industry. Additional topics in the 14-article issue include injury trends, safety climate, gaps in perceptions toward safety culture, fall prevention, design of tools, assessment of the work environment and the effect of a multicultural workforce.
"We hope this special edition of the Journal of Safety Research will bring more attention to the complexity of safety concerns in the construction industry and trigger more collaborative research to prevent injuries among construction workers," said Mei-Li Lin, Journal of Safety Research editor and senior director of the Research Group at the National Safety Council.