Mental Health in Construction: A Foundation for Safety and Productivity

The construction industry, known for its tough exterior and high-risk environments, holds a less visible but equally dangerous challenge: the mental health of its workers.

With suicide rates alarmingly high—56 male workers and 10 female workers per 100,000 experienced fatal mental health outcomes in 2021, according to the CDC’s most recent data—it’s clear that mental health isn’t just a personal issue, but a pivotal industry crisis. The suicide statistics for both men and women are higher than the nationwide average rates of 32 and 8, respectively.

Construction’s on-the-job fatality rate was 9.6 deaths per 100,000 workers that same year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning construction workers died by suicide at a significantly higher rate than they died due to their hazardous work. That’s despite construction ranking near the top of industries with the most fatal on-the-job injuries.

In turn, a 2020 study found that 83% of … Read more...

How to Manage Truck Driver Fatigue: Ensuring Safety Behind the Wheel

Graphic of a truck driver falling asleep at the wheel

Truck drivers, often regarded as the unsung heroes of the road, are the backbone of road freight and logistics. Their job is to facilitate the transportation of large quantities of heavy goods or materials from suppliers to clients at their designated destinations. Operating within a global market of more than $2.5 trillion, freight drivers are the ones who ensure timely deliveries, safeguard the integrity of cargo and sustain the efficiency of the entire distribution network.

Being a truck driver is not easy. In their demanding profession, freight operators face numerous risks on the road, ranging from unpredictable traffic and adverse weather conditions to mechanical failures and distracted driving. One of the most significant and potentially lethal hazards they can experience is driver fatigue, which compromises their alertness and significantly increases the likelihood of accidents. At least 13% of serious truck crashes in the USA can be associated with truck driver … Read more...

Construction Fatal Four: Understanding Risks and Ensuring Safety

Graphic of construction workers suffering from the construction fatal four

The construction industry is vital to infrastructure development worldwide, but it’s also one of the most dangerous sectors to work in. Among various hazards, the “Fatal Four” stands out as the leading causes of fatalities on construction sites.

The “Fatal Four” is comprised of falls, electrocutions, workers caught in or between objects and being struck by objects. In the United States alone, these safety incidents account for over 50% of construction worker deaths annually, tallying up to around 800 lives lost each year. These statistics are an urgent reminder to put into action safety measures to enhance workplace safety.

This article delves into the Fatal Four – what they are, why they’re so deadly and how construction companies can mitigate these risks to ensure worker safety. Through a multifaceted approach blending rigorous protocols, cutting-edge technologies and commitment from both workers and leadership, let’s strive to create a future where … Read more...

How Technology Can Help You Avoid Construction Accidents

It’s an understatement to say that construction is dangerous work. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry records more fatal work injuries than any other sector. Companies and industry experts have long sought ways to reduce construction accidents, and technology may help companies use new innovations to keep workers safe.

Scott Gerard, a safety consultant with extensive experience in construction, says several elements contribute to the ongoing high rate of accidents in the sector. One is a lack of formal training within the workforce. Many people come into construction simply because they can. Perhaps they haven’t had success finding a job in their preferred field or they don’t have a strong background in any field at all. In need of work, construction becomes a default for them, despite having no hands-on experience in a trade. Insufficient training means these people are more … Read more...

Women in Construction and the Problem of PPE

A graphic of a woman working at a construction site.

Women in construction have a difficult relationship with personal protective equipment (PPE). On the one hand, PPE is critical for protecting them against chemical, physical, mechanical and other workplace hazards. On the other hand, PPE that doesn’t properly fit women’s bodies can be so uncomfortable or ineffective as to increase the risk of injury or death.

This article will examine the difficulties women have with PPE in construction, as well as ways in which to make positive changes for women in the industry.

PPE and the Hierarchy of Controls

In the hierarchy of controls for eliminating or reducing workplace hazards, PPE is the least effective control. It is the last line of defense in environments in which elimination or other controls aren’t feasible or don’t provide sufficient protection. Table 1 shows the standard hierarchy of controls.

A table of the hierarchy of controls

PPE is a critical component of construction safety. Construction sites are dynamic environments with … Read more...

Building a Safer Tomorrow: Challenges and Solutions in Construction Site Safety

Graphic of two construction workers reviewing construction safety software on a tablet

On the afternoon of August 24, 2020, a construction worker employed by an electrical contractor was preparing to install a new power line between two utility poles at a Tennessee construction site. The worker threw the guide twine, pulled the cable toward the next pole, but it arched higher than intended and contacted the distribution power lines. Flowing through those lines were 2,700 volts of electric current, which traveled down the guide twine to the worker, who was electrocuted.

Just a few weeks earlier a UK construction worker was crushed underneath concrete after a partial wall and roof collapsed during demolition work on a site. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Sadly, this kind of day is often the rule rather than the exception in the construction industry, both in the U.S. and around the world, with workers routinely suffering fatal and life-altering injuries while working to build the … Read more...

How to Use AI for Workplace Safety with Intelex and Protex AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing how we manage workplace health and safety. As safety management becomes increasingly complex, AI can reduce the burden of collecting, logging and analyzing safety data. It can be beneficial for managing data associated with leading indicators, which can help prevent incidents before they happen.

Computer vision with AI, deep learning and CCTV analyzes the PPE of two frontline workers

The partnership between Intelex and Protex AI marks a new stage in the evolution of workplace safety. Protex AI uses computer vision (CV) with AI, deep learning and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to identify a range of safety hazards and events. It automatically categorizes events by hazard type, severity and more and then logs them in Intelex with all the key details. This allows safety leaders to capture events they would otherwise miss and streamlines the tedious task of incident and hazard reporting. Users can customize the event categories to determine which events they want Protex AI to send to the … Read more...

How to Identify and Prevent the Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries

In 2022, the US Bureau of Labor recorded a staggering 2,804,200 non-fatal injuries. These statistics are alarming. Workplace safety is not just a regulatory obligation; it is also a necessity for the well-being of frontline workers and the financial health of businesses. Consider this. The total cost of work injuries in 2021 reached $167 billion dollars, impacting not just individuals but the broader economy. 

Graphic of frontline workers in a warehouse driving a forklift, lifting boxes and standing on a ladder.

While there have been significant advancements in health and safety, we continue to see the same injuries year after year. In fact, according to OSHA, fall protection was cited as the top violation for the 13th consecutive year, signaling an enduring need for targeted intervention. 

The administration compiles and publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Violations to alert businesses to commonly cited standards that lead to worker injuries. Understanding them empowers organizations to address common hazards and mitigate risks preemptively.

As a safety … Read more...

CSRD and SEC Reporting Requirements: What’s New for 2024 and Beyond

Graphic of two bike riders going by windmills and solar panels

ESG reporting requirements are becoming a critical component of corporate strategy for organizations around the world, particularly in the United States and the European Union. With the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) about to come into force in the EU and new rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission arriving soon, ESG reporting has quickly moved from a voluntary activity designed to enhance the brand to a vital requirement for compliance. 

This article will look at the background of the ESG reporting requirements from CSRD and the SEC, the obligations different organizations will have to each and how the world of ESG risk is rapidly changing.

CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive)

SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) Climate-Related Disclosure Rules

CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive)

What is the CSRD?

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is a European Union directive that sets out rules for organizations to report ESG and sustainability … Read more...

Enhanced Compliance: OSHA’s 2024 Updates to 300 and 301 Forms for Accurate Safety Reporting

Two EHS professionals considering health and safety data

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has amended the regulation 29 CFR part 1904 for occupational injury and illness record keeping. Under the amended regulation, organizations in certain industries with more than 100 employees must now electronically submit Form 300-Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses and Form 301-Injury and Illness Incident Reporting once a year. This rule becomes effective on January 1, 2024. 

Organizations will also be required to submit the company name when submitting Form 300 and Form 301 data. OSHA intends to publish some of the data on its public website, as it believes the information will promote informed decision making for employers, workers and customers relating to the organization’s safety record. OSHA believes this approach will provide incentive for organizations to increase their efforts to reduce injuries and illnesses. It is important to note that OSHA will not post information that could reasonably identify individuals … Read more...