Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Risk-Based Analysis of Construction Accidents in Iran during 2007-2011- Meta Analyze Study

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Risk-Based Analysis of Construction Accidents in Iran during 2007-2011- Meta Analyze Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

Occupational accidents are the cause of about 321,000 mortalities and 317 million injuries world- wide each year (1). This sizeable number of cases has led to severe human and financial impacts in societies (2). Workers in various industries are ex- posed differently to occupational accidents (3). Construction is known as one of the most danger- ous industries all over the world (4). The con- struction industry has a unique and dynamic na- ture (5), including continuous changes, use of many different resources, poor working condi- tions, no steady employment, lack of training (al- most all construction workers in Iran are un- trained for safety), tough environments (e.g. noise, vibration, dust, handling of cargo, and direct ex- posure to weather) (6), low educational level of workers, lack of safety culture, and communica- tion are among such problems (7). The work envi- ronment in this industry has a number of charac- teristics that make it unique and unpredictable. One of these characteristics is the constantly changing environment. Construction projects change on a daily basis, not only in terms of pro- gress in the building process itself, but also in terms of the types of weather, equipment, crews, and materials used (8).

Different aspects of occupational safety in the construction industry are investigated in a number of researches. These analyses include general anal- ysis (9-13), risk or severity of accidents (14, 15), fatal and severe accidents (16-19), fall accidents (20-22), contact with objects or equipment (23), contact with electricity (24), age of workers (25, 26), pattern of seasonal variation (27), and sleep deprivation (28).

According to official statistics in Iran, almost 37 percent of all industrial accidents (including fatali- ties and lost time accidents) occur in construction projects (29). This is despite the fact that this line of work accounts for only 14 percent of the total employment in the country (30). In spite of the urgency of investigating occupational safety in the construction sector of Iran, this subject is not studied well, and there exists a research gap for a comprehensive analysis in this context. Other studies have been performed in small regions of Iran such as the cities of Yazd and Kerman (12, 13), on a small scale. To the best of our knowledge, the current study is the first of its kind using the most comprehensive database (N=21,864) to conduct construction accident analysis in the country.

The present study aimed to investigate the charac- teristics of occupational accidents and frequency and severity of work related accidents in the con- struction industry among Iranian insured workers during the years 2007-2011. The results of this study will help construction policymakers and managers and safety professionals to identify the most hazardous conditions and develop appro- priate preventive measures.

Materials and Methods

Workers Characteristics and Accident Data

Since 1975, the Iranian Social Security Organiza- tion (ISSO) must be notified of all occupational accidents causing injury to insured workers. Alt- hough reporting is mandatory according to the Iranian law, it is possible that some cases remain unreported. In this study, the Social Security Or- ganization provided anonymous data of all work- place accidents among Iranian insured con- struction workers during the period of 2007-2011. Data were recorded and reported by work inspec- tors of ISSO all around the country. A total num- ber of 25,057 cases were supplied, but after per- forming preprocessing and especially removing abundant duplicate cases, 21,864 cases were ac- cepted for the analysis, which included 4158, 4528, 4059, 4270, and 4849 annual samples for each year from 2007-2011, respectively. In the ISSO data- base, each accident case is characterized by a set of parameters listed in Table 1.

A limited number of characteristics of insured construction workers (including age, sex and the province he/she is working) have also been ar- chived by ISSO since 2011. …

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