Contractors World

The online digital publication for construction, demolition, mining and quarrying industries.

  October 2009

Buyers Guide
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Construction Industry Ranks as Most Dangerous

In an article by the USA, Florida based, law offices of Mark Kaire, P.A., according to the U.S. Department of Labor, construction is the deadliest industry in America. Over six million people work at over 250,000 construction sites, doing a variety of often dangerous jobs. Many times those jobs require workers to perform tasks at great heights, or in narrow, deep trenches, work with electricity or operate powerful, dangerous equipment. It's estimated that over 1,000 construction workers will die in on-site mishaps this year, with many thousands more injured.

In 2007, nearly 1,200 construction workers in the USA alone died because of job-related injuries; truck-driving was the second deadliest occupation with 500-plus fatalities.

The 10 factors cited most often in construction citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were: scaffolding, fall protection, excavation works, ladders, head protection, excavations (requirements for protective systems), hazard communication, fall protection - training requirements, construction (general safety and health provisions) andelectrical (wiring methods, design and protection)

It is estimated that approximately 23 out of every 100,000 construction workers die in a work-related accident.

Construction Output Decline Slows in EU

In the construction sector, seasonally adjusted production decreased by 0.5%, a little less than for the previous month. However, some countries are beginning to show signs of a recovery, albeit a small one.

A monthly comparison shows that, among the EU countries for which data is available for August 2009, construction output rose in five and fell in seven. The highest increases were registered in Germany (+4.2%), Slovakia (+3.6%) and Sweden (+2.9%), and the largest decreases in Romania (-7.9%), Bulgaria (-3.6%), Spain and France (both -1.6%).

Building construction decreased by 1.2%. However, civil engineering increased by 4.1%.

An annual comparison among the EU members for which data is available for August 2009, shows construction output rose in four and fell in eight. The highest increases were registered in Poland (+9.9%), Sweden (+9.5%) and Germany (+1.9%), and the largest decreases in Romania (-29.0%), Spain (-21.1%) and Slovenia (-19.6%).

Building construction fell by 15.9%. Civil engineering increased by 3.5%.

Call For Improved Crane Safety

UK construction union UCATT is calling for the creation of a fully comprehensive crane register in order to improve safety standards.
In their submission to the Health and Safety Executive’s consultation on creating a tower crane register, UCATT argue that the register should be fully comprehensive and that not only conventional tower cranes should be on the register. Ideally, the union argues, all forms of self-erecting cranes should be registered and that there is absolutely no justification for towed tower cranes which operate in a manner very similar to conventional tower cranes not being registered.

The union also argue that to reduce accidents and increase public confidence in the safety of cranes, the register should not be limited to construction but include all cranes. There have been several accidents involving cranes in docks. In recent years there have been a number of high profile accidents involving tower cranes, resulting in eight fatalities.


SEPTEMBER 2009 ISSUE  - Contractors World, the digital publication for construction, building, mining, quarrying and demolition industries
Sept 2009


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