Offsite Construction Reduces Injuries: A Key Driver for Building with Modular
Safety on the construction site is always a top concern. Since it is a potentially dangerous industry, it might come as no surprise that construction fatalities accounted for 20.5% of all worker fatalities in 2014, according to OSHA stats. Many commercial business owners, contractors, and architects have come to realize that they can make progress in reducing construction site injuries by utilizing an offsite construction process. In fact, safer project worksites are quickly becoming one of the main drivers to building with modular construction.
How Off-Site Construction Reduces Injuries: The Fatal Four
In 2014, the leading causes of fatal injuries in the construction industry were falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, or being caught in or between objects. These injuries are collectively called the “Fatal Four.”
When the majority of the construction process is moved offsite, as it is with modular building, unique safety components can be implemented that can’t be done on a traditional construction site.
Offsite construction reduces workers’ exposure to the following situations which can lead to fatal injuries.
When construction takes place in a weather-controlled environment, it eliminates slick surfaces that cause slips and falls. It also eliminates the risks of exposing electrical lines to moisture.
When your building is constructed from modules, each one constructed individually offsite and assembled at the final site, more work is done on ground level and the need for working at heights is reduced. Whereas, on a traditional worksite, construction workers can spend exponentially more time working stories high.
Additionally, in offsite construction, permanent scaffolding is used when workers are required to work from heights. This differs from scaffolding used on construction sites, which is constantly being assembled and disassembled, opening up more opportunity for error.
Congested Construction Activities
Using an assembly-line inspired construction process, offsite construction allows workers to have adequate space to perform their jobs. Offsite construction allows for less exposure to large construction vehicles moving around tight work spaces, which can lead to fatal injuries from being struck by machinery or caught between objects.
Offsite Worker Safety is Starting to Get Attention
A Smart Market Report on the offsite construction industry, Prefabrication and Modularization: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry, shows that industry professionals are starting to realize the benefits of how offsite construction reduces injuries and are leaning towards using modular construction for future projects.
Here’s a snapshot of the finding:
- Over one third of respondents (34%) who are currently using prefabrication/modularization have seen site safety improve as a result.
- For firms already using prefabrication/modularization, the factors driving the continued use include:
- Lower project costs (85%)
- Project schedule improvements (84%)
- Project quality improvements (70%)
- Project safety improvement (58%)
- For firms not using prefabrication/modularization, 49% say safer construction sites are a main driver for future use.