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Texas Reports Delta Variant is Hammering Construction—Again

Despite the rapidly growing population, the pandemic-driven boom in residential housing sales and the high demand for builders with large backlogs, construction in the Lone Star State looks dismal.

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Suicide Plagues Construction Industry

Construction workers commit suicide at three times the national average. Within the construction industry, already the most dangerous profession, more workers die from suicide than job injuries and accidents. Construction has the second-highest suicide rate of any sector in the United States.

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ABC: OSHA Requirements Are Minimum Standards, Not Highball

According to the most recent data from OSHA, construction continues its poor streak as the most dangerous industry in the United States, accounting for one in five workplace deaths. The top ten causes of workplace deaths contain three that are specific to construction: Ladders (#6), Scaffolding (#3), and Fall Protection (#1). Fatalities from construction falls have been in the number one place on the list for nine straight years. Additionally, construction fatalities increased by six percent in the last year.

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Colorado Contractor Sentenced to Prison For Workplace Death of Employee

Colorado courts sentenced Bryan Johnson, a contractor from Avon, CO, to 10 months in prison. He faced manslaughter and negligent homicide charges after a workplace accident left a man dead in 2018. Johnson didn’t go to trial; he pled guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of 3rd-degree assault causing injury.

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New York City Shuts Down 300 Jobsites Over Safety Violations

After the death of seven construction workers so far this year in New York City, including three in May, the city’s Department of Buildings plans to crack down on safety violations.

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Report: Construction Errors Led to Mexico City Metro Collapse That Killed 26

A preliminary report issued by the Norwegian company DNV and other international experts—prepared at the request of the Mexican government—found that at least six construction violations led to the collapse of the metro train last month that killed 26.

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Western Heat Wave Especially Hard on Construction and Farm Workers

A blistering heatwave torments the western United States. The heat significantly affects people who work outside, such as construction and farm laborers. In the past week, authorities have put advisories in place for an area containing more than 50-million residents.

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Emerging Trends in NYC Construction Safety Discussed at Panel

Earlier this month, New York City construction industry professionals debated the future of safety on the job site at the Commercial Observer’s third annual Construction Safety Forum. They reviewed what happened during coronavirus and what is expected to happen now.

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Work Zone Fatalities Reach 15-Year High

According to new data released from the Federal Highway Association (FHWA), in 2019 (the year with the most recently compiled data), 842 fatalities occurred in work-zone crashes, compared to 757 in 2018, representing an 11.2% increase; this means the highest number of deaths in work zones since 2004.

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Improving Urban Design to Promote Public Health

While many solutions to the pandemic appear easy—washing hands, wearing masks, and social distancing—much in urban design and architecture complicates strict guidelines adherence. How do you stay six feet apart if a sidewalk or a corridor is only four feet wide? What about pressing the button to cross the street or ride the elevator while trying to avoid high-touch areas?

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New NYC Marijuana Law Causing New Construction Rules Woes

On March 31, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that makes recreational marijuana legal in New York. Anyone over the age of 21 can possess up to 3 ounces of the drug. As far as construction crews, a simple solution seems obvious: make a rule that no one may work while impaired. But the problem's complexity requires a more involved solution.

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Engineering Firm Takes Hard Line on Safety

Facing a new project in 2019, Keith Switzer of INTEC Group, found himself in a meeting about safety on a new four-story housing project, and he decided he was going to take this seriously. It began by making a list. The meeting turned into a brainstorming session where, as he puts it, they said “if you did this differently, this would be a safer way of doing XYZ.”

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New York Creates More Complete Registry of On-the-Job Construction Deaths

New York lawmakers hope to reduce on-the-job construction industry injuries and deaths with a new bill. The New York State senate signed Bill S1302 into law on February 16th; this bill expands on a registry of information related to construction incidents that result in fatal injuries. The bill's language qualifies workers in the following groups: “direct employees, contracted employees, subcontracted employees, independent contractors, temporary or contingency workers, apprentices, interns, volunteers.” It also expands the term “contractor” to include direct employers, contractors, and subcontractors.

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Level 10 Construction Hits Historic Safety Milestone

On February 12, exactly one year after the California-based company, Level 10 Construction, announced it had reached 6 million man-hours worked without a lost-time incident, they announced the next milestone: 7-million hours and seven straight years without a lost-time incident.

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Opioid Crisis Hits Hard on American Construction Workers

According to a new report from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “Opioids have commonly been prescribed to construction workers to treat pain caused by these occupational injuries. Workers in the industry also have higher rates of opioid overdose death compared with other groups.”

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Construction Industry Has Highest Rate of COVID-19 Cases

A new study published in MedRXiv reports that construction workers have the highest COVID-19 cases of nearly any industry, including healthcare workers, first responders, food service, correctional personnel, elderly care workers, and grocery store workers.

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Construction Workers Hit Hard by Coronavirus

According to a new study from the University of Texas (UT), construction workers are far more likely to be hospitalized for coronavirus than workers in other segments.

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New OSHA Guidelines Require Work-Related COVID-19 Reporting

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has clarified a rule that instructs on reporting infection and deaths from diseases caught on the job site. Under 29 CFR 1904.39(b)(6), employers are required to report in-patient hospitalizations if the hospitalization "occurs within twenty-four hours of the work-related incident." For cases of COVID-19, the term "incident" means exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace.

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Tragic Accident in Houston Stairwell Collapse, Texas Construction Deaths Continue to Rise

After a major accident happened on Monday, October 5th, in which approximately 13 or 14 floors of stairs collapsed down a stairwell and killed three workers and injured one other, rescue crews could remove the bodies on Wednesday.

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New Software Monitors Construction Sites for Wildfires

In a year that has been fraught with wildfires burning across the west, consuming hundreds of thousands of acres, a new app is being piloted in Arizona to locate the source of fires by mapping hundreds of construction sites.

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Major Construction Accident Highlights High Crane-Related Fatalities in Texas

On September 16th, two cranes at an Austin, TX, construction site collided. In the accident, 16 workers were injured and taken to local hospitals. None of the injuries are considered critical, but experts say that the incident highlights a significant lapse of workplace safety awareness.

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800 Sick with Covid at Nation’s Only Nuclear Construction Site

Nuclear power plants are few and far between these days as environmental groups have called into question the impact of the nuclear waste disposal, but the only active nuclear construction site in the United States is under investigation for a different kind of sickness: a rapid Covid outbreak.

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Shooting at Construction Site Highlights Dangers Faced by Workers

A shooting at a Culver City, California, construction site this week shows how dangerous an already dangerous profession can be. Construction, which hosts a number of the most dangerous jobs in the workforce, including carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, and more, has always been a risky business. The general laborer is the 17th most dangerous job in America, while roofers are at #4, heavy machine operators are at #8, and steelworkers at #9. (The most dangerous jobs remain in the logging industry.)

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Construction Workers Prone to Risky Behaviors, Study Says

We talk all the time about dangers on the jobsite—and there are many—but a new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) suggests that it may be during the off-the-clock time that construction workers are at more serious risk of injury or illness. And the behaviors don’t just apply to workers, but to construction management as well.

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Troopers Saving Lives by Dressing as Construction Workers

Construction workers in road construction are among the highest rated for danger or death, so one state is sending police undercover to try to save lives—by dressing as construction workers.

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New York City Shuts Down 41 Construction Areas for COVID-19

New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) has begun enforcing new stricter safety guidelines related to the novel coronavirus, and in the first five days they issued 88 citations and 41 stop work orders.

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Deaths, Injuries This Week Remind of Construction Dangers

It has been a deadly week around the United States in the construction industry, with several deaths, injuries and near-misses. It is a reminder to the construction world of the dangers that face workers every day as they go on the job site.

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Using Architecture to Fight a Pandemic

In 2006, in Tugela Ferry, South Africa, an extremely virulent, drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis raged through a hospital—and the building was partially to blame. The hospital was not designed for infection control. The transmission of the disease was through particles suspended in the air, inhaled by patients in a poorly ventilated building with overcrowded waiting areas.

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5 Ways the Coronavirus Will Affect Construction

Steve Lesser, the chair of Becker’s Construction law practice, says the key words right now are “Wait and see.”

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Up-And-Coming Jobsite Danger: Personal Cellphones

Even as smartphones are breaking open the world of construction with new apps and technologies that are radically changing the face of the industry, there is a problem that is plaguing job sites and doesn’t seem to have any sign of stopping soon: the presence of mobile phones.

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New Self-Driving Construction Trucks Aim to Save Lives

Construction zones on roadways have always been dangerous, and many strategies have been tried to deal with them, including increasing fines for speeding in those areas, increasing patrols by law enforcement, and giving construction workers the power to tag and report reckless drivers.

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OSHA’s Most Expensive Fines of Q4 2019

While OSHA raised their fines a bit, there were no surprises in the areas where they did: fall and excavation hazards led the list of penalties. Falls are part of the so-called “Fatal Four”, along with struck-by injuries, caught in/between, and electrocution. But it was falls and excavation where the fines seemed to rack up in the fourth quarter.

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Construction Industry Teeming with Opioid Abuse

A new study from New York University shows that construction workers are more likely to overdose on opioids than people in any other profession. Much of this has to do with the risk of injury on the jobsite, as well as long working hours where workers may feel the need to take ‘just one more pill’ to get through the day.

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Salt Lake City Construction Company Models Suicide Prevention Ideals

RK Construction, a 55-year-old construction company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, has become a model of what it means to confront mental health problems head on, according to a recent report on NPR.

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Surprise Inspector Visits Hand Out 11,000 Citations

New York City, which is a hotbed of construction, has a startling problem with worksite safety, and it’s only growing. In 2015, there were 472 construction-related injuries, but that number has jumped a staggering 61% to 761 last year. And the city is cracking down.

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Saving Lives and Money with Risktech

Construction suffers $11 billion in losses every year in damage due to fire, water, theft and—worst of all—worker deaths. Despite construction only accounting for 7% of the work force, 21% of workplace deaths occur at construction sites.

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Construction Workers are Dying in the Heat

Construction is booming, and companies are trying to pack as much work into the summer months as possible, but a very real danger lurks out under the sun. According to a new study, construction workers sweltering in the heat are dying at an alarming—and increasing—rate.

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New Law Allows Construction Workers to Flag Traffic Violators

A new law in the state of Minnesota allows construction workers to flag traffic violators who are driving unsafely in construction zones.

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Construction Worker Saves Children From Fire

At a burning apartment complex in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a father had to lean out a window and drop his 2-month-old baby into the arms of a rescuing construction worker. The father was trapped on the second floor. Seconds later, the worker caught and saved a toddler as well.

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Canadian Construction Workers Took a Moment of Silence for Safety

Last week, after a particularly bad year for workplace accidents, 4000 construction workers took a break from their jobs to take a moment to reflect on safety. More than 50 companies and organizations joined in the second annual Construction Safety Stand-Down, a program hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association

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Construction Industry Attempting to Combat Suicide Risk

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data showing that, between 2012 and 2017, the construction and extraction industries have the highest suicide rates of any industry tracked, growing at a rate of 43.6 (per 100,000) in 2012 to 53.2 in 2017. This problem is not just centered in the USA, but is recognized globally.

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Cold Weather Apparel on the Job Site

As cold temperatures move across the contiguous United States, the East Coast will experience below average temperatures this winter between December and February of 2019. According to...

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UK Cladding Problem Widespread; U.S. Mostly Safe

Fallout from the Grenfell Tower, which killed 80 due in large part to the cladding, a form of exterior siding. The cladding allowed for a flammable, chimney-like structure that spread a fire at a catastrophic rate...

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Dangers When Working from Heights

My first day in the construction industry, back in 2003, a contractor, who was working on the roof of our warehouse, fell through a gap and died. He was not wearing a harness, despite it being required by both law and...

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