In honor of National Construction Appreciation Week, we take a moment to celebrate the many safety improvements in the industry in recent years. At Chemtek, worker safety is one of the pillars we focus on with every solution we offer. Having worked closely with the road construction industry for years, we recognize the importance of keeping each worker safe. These workers have contributed to massive infrastructure growth throughout the country. The least we can do is provide them the best working conditions possible. Although there have been many safety regulations put in place aimed at protecting workers, this is a fairly new reality. Occupational safety was not always a priority, with quantity and speed taking precedence. It is estimated that over 14,000 construction workers were killed on the job in 1970. In 2009, there were only 4,340 despite the doubling of the U.S. work force!
A major milestone on the road to worker safety was the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1971. OSHA issued standards to protect workers from hazards such as asbestos exposure, fatal falls, and electrical injuries to name a few. In 2007, employers became legally obligated to pay for all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Most recently, OSHA implemented a new standard to limit exposure to silica dust on construction sites.
While great strides in construction and worker safety have been made, there is still room for improvement. Construction workers are the backbone of this country and the United States’ growth and prosperity would not have been possible without them. Thank you to all employees in the construction industry for the hard work you put in every day!
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1 OSHA Celebrates 40 years of accomplishments in the Workplace. OSHA. https://www.osha.gov/osha40/OSHATimeline.pdf. Published 2010. Accessed September 11, 2019.
2 Safety Timeline. Occupational Health & Safety. https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2007/01/01/Safety-Timeline.aspx?Page=5. Published January 1, 2007. Accessed September 11, 2019.
3 Durisko, Jamie. The History of Safety in a Construction Environment. Ving! https://blog.vingapp.com/corporate/the-history-of-safety-in-a-construction-environment. Published October 18, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2019.
4 President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Federal Role in Highway Safety. U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/safety02.cfm#c. Publishing date Not Available. Accessed September 11, 2019.