Working in construction comes with certain hazards and potential for injury that one would not find in most other careers. There is a tendency, however, to overlook one simple fact that can significantly reduce the risk of injury and help to protect workers: construction debris removal means safer job sites.
What Are the Leading Causes of Injury on Construction Sites?
The calendar year of 2016 saw 4,693 worker deaths in private industry. Out of those, 991 were in construction. This means that roughly 1 in 5 worker deaths (21%) occurred in construction. Among these fatalities, the leading causes of death (excluding highway collisions) were primarily falls, being struck by an object, electrocution and caught-in/ between.
Breaking those 4 categories down by percentage gives the following:
- Falls: 384 out of 991 (38.7%)
- Struck by Object: 93 (9.4%)
- Electrocutions: 82 (8.3%)
- Caught-in/ Between: 72 (7.3)
The caught-in/ between category refers to fatalities resulting from construction workers being caught in and crushed by equipment or objects, or being crushed under collapsing structure, materials, or equipment.
As indicated above, falls are responsible for more construction worker deaths than the next three categories combined. If the number of falls could be significantly reduced, hundreds of lives would be saved every year. A large part of making that happen?
Falls are the Number One Cause of Fatal Construction Accidents
With falls being responsible for nearly 40% of all fatalities on construction sites, it is clear that preventative measures need to be put in place. One might assume that these are falls are from a considerable height, but in truth, almost half of the falls resulting in fatalities are from a height of less than 20 feet. More surprisingly, many of them occur from falls from under six feet.
How can this be?
Typically, a person’s reaction time is approximately half of a second. In that same amount of time, a person can fall a distance of four feet. A fall of six feet, therefore, still occurs in under one second. While a fall of 6 feet may not seem life-threatening at first glance, the force of impact increases during the fall, meaning that a worker weighing 200 pounds who falls from six feet will strike the ground with nearly 10,000 pounds of force.
Many of these falls occur due to debris at the construction site, which means that the simple act of regularly cleaning the area and removing construction waste will dramatically reduce the potential for trips, falls, and related accidents.
And in addition to the obvious benefit of increasing worker safety, you will also be minimizing paperwork, lost labour hours, and insurance and medical costs related to accident and deaths.
Minimizing Trips and Falls
Virtually every business attempts to minimize costs in whatever fashion they may. General contractors typically look for ways to reduce overhead and keep labour and material costs as low as possible, all while speeding up the construction process. The main challenge in this comes from not sacrificing worker safety.
These concerns are ongoing, given that any worker who is injured will cost the contractor both time and money. Good contractors are proactive in their attempts to keep the work site safe, and a significant factor in doing so is keeping the site as clean as possible.
It is far too easy to overlook how dangerous it can be to fall only a few feet, or to trip over some construction debris, but as we have seen, it is these very accidents that are responsible for the majority of fall injuries, and even deaths. With regular cleanup, they need not occur.
Outsourcing your Construction Debris Removal to Save Lives and Save Money
It is entirely possible that you already have a plan for debris removal, but is it being implemented efficiently and correctly? Using your own crew to clean the work site takes them away from their other tasks and may not result in a proper cleanup. Your best bet is to outsource these duties to an outside firm.
In the majority of construction projects, scheduling a series of waste and debris cleanups and removal is the best approach, and this can be accomplished without the need for disrupting work on the project or taking workers away from their duties by making use of a reliable junk-hauling service.
Consider the fact that every hour spent by your crew in cleaning, picking up debris, hauling it away, and disposing of it correctly is an hour that is spent away from revenue-generating activities. The larger the project is, the more time will be taken away from the actual construction, which makes the outsourcing of cleanup duties even more cost-effective.
Beyond the simple removal of debris, is your crew knowledgeable about the requirements for legally disposing of materials? Simply carting the debris away is not enough, and a professional firm knows the right way to get the job done.
The Right Team for the Right Job
Realizing that outsourcing is a cost-effective way to regularly remove your construction debris, clean your site, and keep your workers safe, you will also want to ensure that you hire the right firm. While you could certainly find any number of individuals with the trucks and the muscle to clean up your site, hiring the cheapest workers will not get you the results you need, and unfortunately, this could end up costing you more in the long run.
A professional junk hauler will provide you with efficient, safe and eco-friendly waste disposal services, meaning that you will not have to worry about the job being done right—or in some cases—legally.
Construction is your job. Cleanup is ours. Let us do our work, so that you can get on with yours, confident in the knowledge that your work site is being kept safe, secure, and clean.
Call us today to find out more. Our highly-trained, fully-insured staff is standing by to help you.