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News and Events
Construction Risk Advisor February 2018 - February 2018
AUTOMATION’S THREAT TO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
Automation helps construction
companies deal with labor shortages and create safer, more efficient job sites.
There is one downside, however. According to a recent study by the Midwest
Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal, automation
could displace up to 2.7 million construction workers—almost 49 percent of the
nation’s blue-collar construction workforce—by 2057.
Fortunately, until every aspect
of every task can be automated, there will still be a need for human labor. For
job security, the study’s co-authors stressed the need to transition workers
into new roles that complement the rise of automation in construction.
According to one of the study’s
co-authors, Frank Manzo IV, increased automation could cause both and economic
hardship and economic prosperity. In order to achieve prosperity, Manzo
recommended that construction companies invest in vocational training. The
study also urged lawmakers to consider taxing capital owned by contractors and
investing the proceeds into retraining displaced workers.
RECOMMITMENT TO SAFETY FOR FEMALE WORKERS
has renewed its relationship with the National Association of Women in
Construction (NAWIC) in an effort to re-establish its commitment to creating
safer working conditions for women in the construction industry through its
OSHA Alliance Program.
five-year initiative will address workplace concerns specific to women,
including sanitation, how to select appropriate personal protective equipment
(PPE) and how to address gender-based threats arising from intimidation and
OSHA previously launched a webpage dedicated to the safety of female
construction workers, the new commitment to safety highlights the industry’s
new focus toward women during its labor shortage. Less than 9 percent of the
construction workforce is female.
revisiting its emphasis on safety, OSHA hopes to address unique challenges on
the job site faced by women, including the following:
- PPE—Employers need to make sure there
is PPE on the job site that fits women, who are often smaller in stature than
- Lack of sanitary or adequate
bathroom facilities—Some women have reported not drinking water during the day to avoid the
need to use unsanitary or inadequate facilities, leading to an increased rate of
kidney and bladder infections.
renewed campaign will use both OSHA’s and NAWIC's resources to provide
information about and prevent hazards that affect women on the job site.