It is no surprise that Seattle has been experiencing a construction boom for quite some time. As more and more jobs begin to sprout up, the demand for workers spikes and timelines are rushed. While Seattle has had a fair amount of success maintaining low injury and fatality rates, it is hard not to see the trends in other rapidly growing cities as cautionary tales.
New York City, for example, is in the throes of a building boom. Unfortunately, this increase in activity has resulted in a rise in injuries and fatalities. Rates of accidents have increased in the first 7 months of 2018 when compared to the same period last year in 2017. Accidents have increased by 18.4% and injuries a similar 17%. Fatalities have doubled from 4 in 2017 to 8 in the first 7 months of 2018.
Reacting early to the upward trend of incidents in 2016, New York City Council passed a controversial new regulation that requires construction workers to take 40 hours of safety training.
“Those already working in the industry were required to complete the equivalent of a 10-hour OSHA course by March 2018” – ConstructionDrive
There is an ongoing debate within the New York City Council, as well as within the construction industry, regarding the new mandatory training. The regulation is a direct reaction to the boom-driven increase in construction-related accidents and deaths. However, the effectiveness of the regulation is yet to be determined.
Industry leaders and those in the construction industry should keep focused on the critical importance of safety. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of an energized construction boom and let safety measures slip in favor of a quick fix. Losing sight of what matters, the safety and wellbeing of our workers, is short-sighted and costs the industry time, energy, and puts our men and women at risk.
The Seattle metro area is booming, and it is an exciting time for the industry. Let us maintain focus and get the job done without risking the lives of our workers.
If you have any questions or regarding onsite safety, feel free to contact our team here at The Integrated Group. You can reach us at our office at 425.822.8500.