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Why Pre-Fab Construction? Sidestepping the “Fatal Four”

The topic of causalities is always grim. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Out of 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2017, 971 or 20.7% were in construction.” That’s the equivalent of 1 in 5 workers passing from an often preventable, building-related death.

While the numbers paint a dark and dreary picture, there is hope. As OSHA also puts it, “Eliminating the Fatal Four [falls, struck by object, electrocutions and caught-in/between] would save 582 workers’ lives in America every year.” Pre-fab solutions are one way to afford better job site safety with factory-controlled indoor environments, ground-level workspaces and roomy assembly lines.

Ideal weather

In a modular factory, work takes place inside versus outside. Shielded from the elements, the floor doesn’t become slick with rain or ice, significantly reducing the likelihood of slips or falls. And since falls account for 39.2% of construction deaths, eliminating any potential tripping hazard can make a big difference.

SurePods’ and other prefabricators’ indoor settings also contribute to a decreased chance of electrocution. Responsible for 7.3% of worker fatalities, electrocution accidents go down when electrical lines aren’t exposed to moisture.

Zero stories high

“Struck by object” is the second-highest of the “fatal four,” coming in at 8.2%. However, since most modular assembly takes place on the ground, the danger of being injured by overhead debris declines.

Level conditions also mean that employees don’t need to scale structures to perform a job or toil away multiple stories up, boosting safety on the pre-fab site. Plus, managers can better oversee a singular floor, monitoring for potential OSHA violations.

Plenty of space

Assembly lines further provide enough room for individuals to spread out and complete tasks. With tight workspaces removed from the equation, vehicles can easier navigate around building activities. This means fewer people will be caught between objects, which causes 5.1% of construction deaths.

Putting it all together

Thanks to controlled weather elements, less height, congestion-free areas and more, “rates for fatal injuries are, overall, substantially lower in manufacturing than in traditional onsite construction,” shares Design for Modular Construction: An Introduction for Architects. Take the first step towards saving lives by emailing us at: [email protected].


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