In the past, such unannounced safety weeks have been successful in reducing construction-related fatalities in the Southeast, OSHA said. Agency compliance officers will continue to focus their enforcement efforts on construction sites in the region, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, according to OSHA.
OSHA field activities are designed to identify and eliminate safety and health hazards at construction sites, reducing the numbers of injuries and fatalities resulting from the four leading causes of accidents: falls, struck-by/crushing events, electrocutions and caught-in-between events.
During the fiscal year 2007 "Swept Up in Safety Weeks" campaign period, agency compliance officers conducted immediate inspections when unsafe working conditions were observed at construction sites. Compliance officers also entered work sites to provide outreach and training and to encourage employers to continue their good work.
"OSHA's goal this year is to continue increasing employers' awareness about eliminating hazards that lead to employee fatalities," said Cindy Coe, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta. "The increased presence of our field compliance officers and conducting immediate inspections when they observed unsafe scaffolds, fall risks, trenches and other construction hazards led to a reduction in work site fatalities."
OSHA's fiscal year 2007 "Swept Up in Safety Weeks" campaign helped reduce fatalities at construction sites overseen by federal OSHA offices by 10.4 percent compared to fiscal year 2006, according to the agency. During the four designated safety weeks in fiscal year 2007, OSHA conducted 2,086 compliance inspections, while conducting 1,294 on-site interventions where no inspection was performed.