Accidents in masonry construction: The contribution of production activities to accidents, and the effect on different worker groups

Masonry is a construction trade with high risk of work-related injuries. This study analyzes 141 recordable incidents that occurred over a period of 3 years in a large masonry company. The incidents were analyzed from three perspectives: First, they were analyzed with respect to the nature of events (falls, overexertion, etc.). Second, the analysis examined the production activity that the injured worker was performing. Third, the incidents were analyzed according to the injured workers' position in the crew – that is, foreman, masons, laborers, and forklift operator. The findings first identify the contribution of the different masonry activities to different types of safety incidents. Three activities – scaffold erection and dismantling, laying block and material handling are responsible for most of incidents and consequences in terms of days away from work and days with modified task. Next, the findings identify the frequency and severity of incidents for the different workers' positions, and the high incident activities for each worker role. The results indicate that the laborers have significantly higher accident rate compared to the masons. The study identifies two new areas of priority for reducing accidents in masonry construction: improving the process of scaffold erection and dismantling, and focusing on reducing laborers incidents. Finally, analysis of incidents by production activities and personnel position is an effective way to identify operations and worker groups that need to be targeted for improvement. Thus, it is strongly recommended that the contractors' incident reporting mechanism captures that information.

Source : Babak Memarian, Panagiotis Mitropoulos, Safety Science, Vol. 59, Nov. 2013, p.179-186, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.05.013.

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