Safety in Roofing: Practices of Contractors That Employ Hispanic Workers
- Svetlana Olbina (Virginia Tech) | Jimmie Hinze (Stanford University) | Matt Rube (University of Florida)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- April 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 44 - 52
- 2011. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 35 since 2007
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Subcontractors perform 80% to 90% of the work on many construction projects, yet little re-search has examined subcontractor best practices in safety. Instead, most construction safety studies have focused on the general contractor level. For example, Construction Industry Institute (CII, 2010) has conducted 10 major research studies on construction safety, but only one focused on subcontractors.
Worker safety has become a subject of considerable interest in the construction industry, where many firms no longer accept injuries as being a normal part of the construction pro-cess. Many general contractors now demand that subcontractors work safely. Employees of subcontractors are placed at risk when good safety practices are lacking, thus it is each subcontractor’s responsibility to mitigate these risks.
The changing composition of the U.S. construction workforce creates unique challenges. The number of Hispanic construction workers has increased substantially in the past decade; how-ever, little research has been conducted to identify the most effective safety practices when Hispanic workers are employed. Although fatality rates in the construction industry have declined in recent years, decreasing by 10% from 2007 to 2008 (BLS, 2010), the distribution of injuries and fatalities is not uniform among all construction workers.
For example, in 2001 (the most recent year measured), the rate of Hispanic work-related deaths from construction accidents was 62.5% higher than the rate for non-Hispanic workers (NIOSH, 2004). Understanding the cause of the disproportionate number of Hispanic construction worker injuries as well as addressing this trend is an important research goal. Construction companies must increase their efforts to provide a safe workplace for all construction employees.
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