Workplace Safety | VideoAlex Hagan | 9/10/2012
"Fall protection is number one. There`s so many things that could happen when you`re up in the air so they`re harnessed off and do whatever you can to protect them," said construction site superintendent Shawn O`Leary.
Workforce Safety and Insurance reported thirty workplace fatalities in the 2012 fiscal year, an increase of 16 from the year before. They expect that number to continue to increase with the state`s economy.
"Normally in the years past we`ve been at 12, 14, and on year we we`re at nine so there has been an increase in the number of fatalities, but again we also have a lot more workers in the state too," said director Bryan Klipfel.
WSI employees say some employers may be hiring workers without enough experience to perform these tasks.
"If you have an inexperienced worker that hasn`t been trained properly and you just need employees to get the job done, that is an issue," Klipfel said.
The Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association is recommending contractors take safety courses before breaking ground.
"We`ve done scaffolding, fall protection, trenching, electrical. We offer a lot of different courses and we get an option to pick different courses," said Roxy Jacobson with the Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association.
Some contractors require their workers to get the necessary training before working out in the field.
"All of our guys have to go through a training program before they start and they`re never going to send a worker per say up in somewhere where it`s dangerous," O`Leary said.
It may be only a matter of time before all blue-collar workers are required to take safety course before going out in the field.
The Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association says the safety training courses offered are free to take and workers could get a discount on their workforce insurance.