SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Worker advocacy agencies say there is a concerning spike in the number of workers killed on the job across the Missouri.
According to OSHA, 45 workplace deaths were reported in a four state region since October – 24 of those took place in Missouri.
Todd Sieleman, OSHA Acting Area Director, tells KOLR10; “I have not not known a period of time where we’ve had as many fatalities in such a short period of time.”
Sieleman says most of the deaths could have been prevented.
“The economy is rebounding and we are seeing an increase in construction. This could lead to the increase we are seeing in the fall fatalities which is one of our leading causes.
OSHA says it’s imperative for employers to examine work zones and equipment.
“To identify any hazards that are associated with that. Anything that isn’t identified can’t be rectified.”
The agency says to be more effective in preventing injuries employers need to use a wide range of tools and strategies.
“It’s just simple common sense. It’s also where the employer has to become educated as to the signs and symptoms. And provide that education even to employees so they can look out for each other.”
Morris Dock,MODOCO President, has overseen many projects in his time as the president of a local construction business and tells KOLR10 the key to limiting these incidents,
“You just have to be aware. “
Morris says mistakes do happen but ensuring safety is his top priority.
“It’s not common at all if you’re managing your project right.”
“it’s just so important them able to go home at the end of the day and return who ever they may of left in the morning. Just be able to follow the instruction they are provided,” explains Sieleman.
OSHA says the leading causes for worker deaths in the construction industry is known as the fatal four are:
Falls, which made up nearly half of the construction deaths in 2014
Being struck by an object
Being caught in or between equipment or collapsing structures.
Here are some useful stats/links to OSHA info:
4,821 workers died on the job in 2014.
Missouri is in OSHA Region 7-which also includes Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. There are 10 regions-see https://www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html
Also worth mentioning this is Labor’s Rights Week: