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Construction Injuries in Texas Down Dramatically, AGC Says

The injury rate on construction sites in Texas over the last decade has fallen 50 percent, according to numbers released this week from the Associated General Contractors.

“While construction activity is on the rise in Texas, injury and fatality rates are on the decline,” said Austin AGC President Phil Thoden.  “That's good news for Texas workers, and is concrete evidence that construction companies here take jobsite safety very seriously,” Thoden said.

AGC Houston President Jerry Nevlud agreed but took it one step further.  “We are always very happy to see safety numbers trending in the right direction, but our members’ commitment to safety is not so much on the movement of rates, but simply that every individual on a job site goes home safely each day to his or her family,” Nevlud said.

Many AGC companies in Texas further demonstrated their commitment to workplace safety this past week by participating in the National Safety Stand-Down on Fall Protection organized by the federal Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA).  Our industry insider Jim Kollaer reported on that earlier.

As our readers know, a stand-down is when construction work at a jobsite stops and workers receive safety training.  For example, one company in the Austin area helped train 263 workers in fall protection at a single jobsite.  The total number of workers trained throughout Texas is expected to be in the thousands, and the final stand-down numbers are being reported by participating companies to OSHA.  Those will be made public very soon, we are told.

Meantime, the San Antonio Business Journal reports that AGC is about to begin a major study on deaths in construction:

“The organization, officials explain, will conduct an exhaustive analysis of the 806 construction fatalities that took place across the country in 2012.  The objective, according to Brad Brown, president and CEO of the Dallas-area AGC chapter, is to identify common threads in these fatalities.

“The study was prompted by the release of new federal safety data showing that construction industry and fatalities rates have declined in several states.  Among those states lauded for their efforts, none other than Texas.

“The new AGC study is meant to complement the steps that many firms are already taking to make work sites safer, Brown says.  AGC, he adds, plans on sharing its data with member firms, OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety Administration) and other firms and associations that request the data.”

The San Antonio Business Journal had previously reported on at least part of the need for the study:

“It appears that Texas drivers could do a better job heeding those road signs with the stick figure in the hard hat.  Those signs warn drivers they are coming to a highway construction work zone.  According to a new study by Arlington, Virginia-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 45 percent of Texas highway contractors had motor vehicles crash into their work zones during the past year.  This is higher than the national average of 38 percent.

“AGC surveyed nearly 800 contractors, including 50 Texas firms, to complete the survey.  The survey was taken in March and April of this year.

“These crashes are impacting construction schedules and costs, AGC reports.  Nationwide, 21 percent of contractors reported that these crashes forced work to be temporarily shut down.  Meanwhile, 30 percent of the contractors in Texas reported having to halt work because of an accident in a work zone.”


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