Construction jobs can be some of the most dangerous occupations for workers in Virginia. Spring and summer is the time that most construction projects are conducted, ranging from reworking highway surfaces to building new homes. There can be many situations where work environments can be questionable where safety is concerned, and now the Occupational Health and Safety Administration is taking new strides to make workplaces safer for these compromised construction employees. This is being primarily addressed by making changes to some rules and regulations regarding work space and the conditions construction workers face.
Confined space and heat
Two of the specific problems that many construction workers deal with while on the job is working in unusual spaces and extreme heat. OSHA is establishing new guidelines for exposure to hazardous materials in confined spaces as well as attention on heat exhaustion that could affect construction workers at any time in the direct sun with no shade available for the most part. While these are not necessarily the cause of construction accidents, they are common general concerns where the body can be impacted by heat and lack of oxygen in confined situations.
Equipment maintenance and operating procedures
Construction workers use a wide variety of construction tools ranging from personal equipment to massive cranes that are often used in major building projects where catastrophic workplace accidents can occur. OSHA is wanting employers to pay closer attention to the condition of construction work tools and especially where high rise overhead equipment like cranes and derricks are being used.
In addition to these general priorities, the agency is also emphasizing safety measures regarding scaffolding and other overhead walking surfaces. Slip-and-fall accidents are very common in the construction industry, many of which result in long-term and even fatal injuries.