The ‘Deadly Dozen Hazards’ on a job site

    submitted by Carin A. O’Donnell, Esq., Stark & Stark

    The primary cause of fatalities and serious injury on a job site can be narrowed down to twelve hazardous conditions.

    The Ironworkers union refers to these as the “Deadly Dozen Hazards” and has committed to a long-term educational campaign to help workers spot and correct hazards before they become deadly.

    The “Deadly Dozen” and their contributing factors

    1. Falls through unprotected/inadequate floor opening covers
    • Falls through unprotected/inadequate floor opening covers
    • Plywood/temporary floor weight requirements
    • Wind displacement
    • Improper use of fall arrest equipment
    • Inadequate use of hazard access zone and the cone and bar system

    2. Collapse of unsecured open web steel joists

    • Lack of sufficient guying and bracing
    • Lack of clear regulatory responsibility
    • Other trades on the job site prematurely removing column support guys to install formwork
    • Accelerated pour schedules and “fast track” formwork

    3. Lack of fall protection and inadequate use of fall arrest equipment

    • Lack of training
    • Unprotected side or edge; and more than 15 ft above lower level

    4. Falls during installation of floor and roof decking from high elevations

    • False sense of security
    • Confusion regarding fall protection requirements for connectors
    • Installation of floors and roof
    • Reinforcing steel
    • Inadequate use of positioning device and fall arrest equipment

    5. Material handling injuries during steel erection and reinforcing steel activities

    • Failure to adequately secure the joist ends
    • Inadequately secured landing bundles
    • Open web steel joists not adequately secured prior to landing deck bundles, bridging bundles, or other construction materials

    6. Column collapse due to anchor bolt failure and/or insufficient concrete strength

    • Use of (4) anchor bolts minimum
    • No notification of concrete strength prior to steel erection (75% level)
    • Environmental and site conditions
    • Inadequate inspections

    7. Structural collapse of unsupported reinforcing steel columns, walls, and decks

    • Inadequate braces
    • Unstable trenches
    • Imbalanced loads

    8. Injuries from falling objects, tools, and materials.

    • Inadequate use of tool tethers
    • Entanglement from tool lanyards
    • Simultaneous construction activities below drop hazard work environments

    9. “Caught between” injuries during hoisting and rigging operations

    • Aerial lift equipment
    • Poorly planned staging areas
    • Inadequate bracing
    • Collapse
    • Clothing or tool catches

    10. Impalement

    • Unprotected rebar dowels
    • Reliance on mushroom caps
    • Improper wooden trough installment or safety precautions
    • Awareness of other impalement dangers

    11. Electrical hazards and injuries from high-voltage power lines

    • Crane assembly
    • Rigging operations
    • Activities near electrical wires

    12. Heat illness and toxic exposure to chemicals and airborne contaminants

    • High heat
    • Lack of water/rehydration
    • Long-term exposure to airborne contaminants
    • Welding fumes

    Unfortunately, the Deadly Dozen are the cause of most injuries and deaths on job sites.

    If you or someone in your family has been catastrophically injured at a construction site, you may be eligible for compensation.

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