You’re one of the executives of a company based in Portland specializing in building commissioning. Business is doing well, and the board is looking into the possibility of expanding its operations, primarily the possibility of establishing an affiliate consulting firm with services similar or aligned with the current services the company is providing.
You’ve been asked to lead the committee to do research and come up with a preliminary report for submission to the board. Your initial thought was in the field of safety and security, specifically within the construction environment. You know very little in this field, so you and your team are now looking into the subject of safety and security.
Here are a few things that your research might reveal.
An Overview of Fatalities in the Workplace
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA estimates that more than 5,100 workers died in 2017 from injuries or illnesses in the workplace. OSHA further estimates that more than 20% of these deaths happened in construction sites. That is about one in five deaths. The four leading causes of deaths are due to falls, being hit by objects, electrocutions, and being caught in between equipment and other objects. If these four main issues are adequately addressed, OSHA predicts that more than 580 lives can be saved each year.
Securing the Workplace
Workplace security is the process which seeks to protect employees from work-related injuries or illnesses. It also focuses on keeping the premises, such as buildings or offices, secured from possible intruders and other threats. Typically, an organization must have environmental, safety, and health policies that everyone should adhere to.
Safety through Modern Technology
Prevention rather than cure now also applies to the construction industry. With technologies like augmented reality, 3D design, and graphic simulation, identification of possible hazards can be detected even in the early stages of the design and planning process. This helps reduce accidents because interventions can be planned. Drones are not only used in warfare. Some companies are now using them to conduct real-time safety inspections and communicating the results of these inspections immediately to safety officers.
Professionals in the Field of Safety
Experts in the field of safety and security are growing in numbers. This bodes well for the planned expansion since recruiting professionals will be one of the critical actions your company will take. There are roughly 110,000 safety experts, and this number is expected to grow significantly by 2024. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics attributes this growth to, a) emphasis of companies on reputation management and keeping their worker safe, and b) the aging and retiring population of safety professionals.
Knowing the OSHA Standards
OSHA provides the standards in safety and security in the workplace that companies should adhere to. The most commonly violated rules for 2018 are the ones on a) fall protection, b) hazard communication, c) scaffolding, and d) respiratory protection. To gain knowledge about these standards, OSHA also provides training and certification.
Key Findings and Recommendations
Given the preceding discussion, your team is likely to come up with a favorable recommendation to the board about pursuing safety and security as a field for establishing a new operation. Among the key findings you might highlight are a) recruitment presents a favorable environment for building a team, b) investing in technology could prove advantageous, and c) helping companies reduce fatalities will be a good marketing pitch.