Safety regulation compliance is reducing construction site fatalities

May 01, 2012 |
Dwight Perkins

Increased emphasis on safety at construction sites and other dangerous work places in recent years is paying dividends. The number of fatal work-related accidents in the U.S. has dropped from 5.3 per 100,000 workers in 1994 to 3.3 per 100,000 workers in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fatality rates have dropped nearly 38% in the last 10 years.

Union officials and safety specialists credit the decline to company compliance with OSHA regulations and employees’ heightened safety awareness. A 36-year OSHA official said, “It takes time for the culture to change. People don’t change overnight.”

OSHA used to have to fight every time it wanted to inspect a business for possible safety violations, the official said. Now, companies are more open to inspections, and they’re willing to work with OSHA. When violations are discovered, there’s less resistance from companies, who are more willing to make corrections.

The director of the Mid-America OSHA Education Center and safety director for the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors says companies that once feared the presence of OSHA officials, are now inviting representatives onto their property, and employers and employees all are cooperating to make workplace safety a priority. Nonetheless, a union official emphasizes that maintaining focus on the job is critical for workers to stay safe, no matter what regulations and safety standards are in place.



Limitations of water-efficiency programs discussed at Emerging Technology Symposium

The Third International Emerging Technology Symposium by IAPMO and the World Plumbing Council featured a session with the intriguing title: “Are Water Efficiency Programs Reaching the End of the Line?” As virtually every municipality in North America is facing declining per capita water demands, we have to wonder how low demands will go, and what does this mean for water suppliers and future WaterSense standards?

The event was held May 1-2 in Bethesda, Md. Among the other topics covered:

·       Thermal Insulation and Domestic Hot Water Systems

·       Research Paves Way for High-Performing Water-Saving Spray Valves

·       Potential Health Risks from Reclaimed Water: What to Know and Avoid

·       Measuring Sustainability – Credibility and Accountability

·       Technologies for Industrial/Municipal Water Reuse

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NOTE:This information is the opinion of the author/blogger and not the official position of IAPMO.

Dwight Perkins | Codes and Standards

Dwight Perkins is the Senior Director of Field Operations for the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and orchestrates the code adoption efforts of 11 other IAPMO Field Service regions as well as directly working with the state code agencies in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon. Mr. Perkins has more than 35 years experience in the plumbing industry starting as an Apprentice in Alaska moving through the ranks to become a Journeyman Plumber and Business Manager of with UA Local 262. Prior to joining IAPMO, Perkins served in the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly while worked as Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. He is extremely familiar with the demands jurisdictions face on a daily basis and he is particularly well suited to address those needs. Mr. Perkins may be contacted at IAPMO at 503-982-1193 or email

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