US Department of Labor, AGC of South Dakota sign alliance to educate workers, employers on construction’s deadly hazards
SIOUX FALLS, SD – Each year, hundreds of workers are injured – some fatally – on construction sites. So, as the spring construction season gets into full swing, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and more than 500 voluntary employee members of the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota are teaming up to protect workers from common construction industry hazards.
In March, OSHA and the AGC of South Dakota signed a two-year alliance to strengthen their commitment to educating industry workers on falls and trenching hazards and to raise awareness of the serious dangers of overexposure to respirable crystal silica and heat illness.
“Through collaboration with the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota, OSHA can share and disseminate information on national safety and health campaigns and regional and local initiatives,” said OSHA Area Director Sheila Stanley in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “Together, OSHA and AGC are determined to ensure industry employers provide safe working conditions as required, and that workers recognize and understand how to prevent common hazards from leading to injuries or worse.”
OSHA and AGC of South Dakota are actively addressing the issues surrounding two of the most common and dangerous hazards in the construction industry: falls and trench collapses.
To combat fall hazards – the cause of more than one-third of construction site fatalities in 2020 – AGC of South Dakota is participating in OSHA’s 2022 National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction from May 2-6. The organization is also sharing information on training programs, such as the Center for Construction Research and Training Fall Safety Stand-Down event in Spanish on April 7.
Trench safety will be the focus of the AGC of South Dakota’s upcoming participation in the 2022 “Trench Safety Stand-Down” week from June 20-24. Among the industry’s most lethal hazards, unsafe trenching led to 203 construction workers suffering fatal injuries from 2011 to 2018. In collaboration with the National Utility Contractors Association and OSHA, AGC will use the trench safety event to educate workers and reduce the number of worker injuries and fatalities related to the activity.
The alliance will also promote workers’ rights in protecting their safety and health on the job, and helping them understand U.S. domestic laws concerning the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers and employees under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
OSHA’s Alliance Program works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. These groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, businesses, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.