Contractors Residential building

Study finds lack of safety programs in residential construction

Construction_roof -- Sep13

Whitewater, WI – One-third of residential construction contractors who participated in a recent study said their firms lacked written safety programs, according to researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of workers said their firms provided safety communication daily or weekly, compared with those who said they receive communication monthly (14 percent) or annually (10 percent). The remainder said they were unsure.

Researchers also gathered data on injuries and illnesses as part of the study, which included 21 residential construction contractors based in Wisconsin. The most common types of injuries occurred because of slips, trips and falls (36 percent), while other injuries stemmed from cuts and lacerations (33 percent), hand tools (13 percent), overexertion (8 percent), being struck by objects (8 percent), and powered equipment (3 percent). The majority of participants who experienced falls were not wearing fall protection equipment.

“Further education and subject matter expert training could provide benefits to improve occupational safety and health of the small business workforce in the residential construction industry,” researchers Sang D. Choi and Kathryn Carlson wrote in the report.

The results of the study were published online July 11 in the journal Industrial Health.