According to data from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, the Treasure State has one of the nation's highest rates of work-related fatalities. We average around 40 deaths per year on job sites in Montana. 50% of the deaths are from transportation accidents involving trucking or agriculture industries. One-third of all worker deaths in Montana from 2012-2016 were in the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, & Hunting industries, and half of the workers who died in the Construction Industry were from falls to a lower level.

Crane hoisting roof trusses onto the unfinished frame of a residential home.
Credit: dpproductions
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Head up, roofers.

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a new program called "Weekend Work" that involves random safety inspections at job sites in a handful of Western states, including Montana. In a press release we received today (7/11), OSHA administrators said they are focusing on select counties in Colorado’s Front Range, Montana, and South Dakota. Those counties in Montana include Stillwater, Carbon, and Yellowstone.

Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash
Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash
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The surprise OSHA inspections could last through October.

Interestingly, the random safety inspections will occur on weekends, a time when OSHA administrators believe "many employers typically do not monitor their job sites well." OSHA Regional Administrator Jennifer Rous said in the release,

Our proactive approach will identify hazardous worksites, ensure that workers are protected from needless injuries or worse, and help ensure employers provide a safe and healthful workplace.

There are very few hazards in my industry. Sitting at this desk, tapping on a keyboard, or talking into a microphone comes with minimal risk... but cutting corners when it comes to safety in the construction business is no joke. Responsible builders understand that skimping on safety can not only be costly but in some instances, deadly. You can learn more about protecting workers from falls HERE.

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