Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in our nation. A recent wenatcheeworld.com report emphasizes this point as it discusses safety precautions at a Central Washington Hospital construction site. According to the article, the M.A. Mortenson Company project supervisor of the five-story building leads a crew of about 50 workers in stretching exercises to help prevent muscles from being pulled or strained. In addition to getting the workers warmed-up so that they aren’t injured while working in weather as low as 32 degrees, the project supervisor also warned the crew to be cautious of slippery conditions on the site resulting from the cooler weather.
The exercises these construction workers do stem from Mortenson’s Zero Injury safety program, which began in 1995. Based on the article, before this safety program was implemented, the company had a higher than average injury rate. Now however, the company has a lower than average industry injury rate. In fact, it recently broke the million mark for man-hours worked without any injuries occurring and resulting in lost work days. This number includes over 36,000 injury-free man-hours on the Central Washington Hospital site.
The company’s senior safety engineer stated, “Construction is very hazardous work.” He also said that more than 20% of all on-the-job injuries happen in the construction trades, which comprise 6% of jobs covered by workers compensation. Citing industry statistics, the safety engineer also stated that construction accidents make up 15% of all workers compensation cases.
As experienced Washington construction accident lawyers at the Bernard Law Group, we feel that the extra efforts being made by this company to ensure that workers are extra cautious are indeed admirable and should serve as an example for other contractors and construction companies to follow. Through creating safe working environments and heightening safety awareness, incidents of construction accident injury and even death are very likely to decrease, as data from this particular company has displayed.