In 1970, the United States Congress and President Richard Nixon created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a national public health agency dedicated to the basic proposition that no worker should have to choose between their life and their job.
Passed with bipartisan support, the creation of OSHA was a historic moment of cooperative national reform. The OSHA law makes it clear the right to a safe workplace is a basic human right. Since OSHA’s first day on the job, the agency has delivered remarkable progress for our nation. Workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths have fallen dramatically. Together with state partners, OSHA has tackled deadly safety hazards and health risks. The organization has established common sense standards and enforced the law against those who put workers at risk. The standards, enforcement actions, compliance assistance and cooperative programs have saved thousands of lives and prevented countless injuries and illnesses.
Although OSHA has made major strides in reducing worker deaths, the chart below clearly indicates the need for continued efforts to further reduce worker deaths.
|Source: http://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html, October 11, 2012|
The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites in 2011 were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by object and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for nearly three out of five construction worker deaths. Eliminating the “Fatal Four” would save 410 workers’ lives in America every year.