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News Outlook Summer is Peak Season for Occupational Injuries at Construction Sites, OSHA Calls on Employers to Strengthen Construction Safety

According to past statistics, summer (June to August) is the season during which occupational injuries in construction industry are most likely to occur in Taiwan. July, in particular, has a 34% higher occurrence rate compared to the annual monthly average, with accidental falls the highest in percentage among all injury types, followed by electric shocks. The Ministry of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers that working outdoors during summer means working in hot weather conditions under which workers sweat more and are more easily fatigued. Inadequate safety at construction sites means workers are more prone to occupational injuries. In order to effectively prevent disasters from happening, employers shall urge workers to abide by safety operation procedures (SOP) and also implement thoroughly management practices for both construction safety and health.

OSHA further states that occupational fall injuries within the construction industry result primarily from lack of safety equipment, for example because guard rails, covers, or safety nets are not installed to protect workers from openings or on roof tops and scaffolds, or because workers fail to use fall protection equipment such as safety harnesses or hard hats and so on. As for occupational injuries resulting from electric shocks, most were the result of inadequate electricity leakage protection for electrical equipment, temporary electricity equipment, or transmission and distribution lines. Employers shall furthermore pay closer attention to the physical conditions of workers during high temperature summer months and ensure that workers are given enough rest and water.

OSHA calls on small and medium size construction vendors and new construction project contractors not to disregard safety just because the construction period appears to be short or to push their luck because safety-related incidents had not previously occurred. To prevent the occurrence of the aforementioned accidents, OSHA will increase the frequency and intensity of construction site health and safety inspections and strengthen inspection counseling during the peak summer months to ensure that business entities practice appropriate construction safety.

Key words: Construction Sites, High Summer Temperatures, Construction Safety

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