A shimmering skyscraper, a world-class stadium and an expansive suspension bridge are impressive architectural achievements, but every structure comes with serious risks faced by the construction workers who build them. More than 80,000 construction workers suffer an injury on job sites each year across the United States.

That’s why Zurich North America—one of the nation’s leading construction insurance providers—is joining the construction industry in supporting U.S. Industry Safety Week (May 3-9) as well as recognizing the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s National Safety Stand-Down (May 4-15), which aims to reduce falls at construction sites.

“Life is far too valuable not to make safety the top priority on job sites,” said Eric Lambert, national customer solutions director at Zurich North America. “Any single incident is one too many. It’s important for all of us in the industry to take the time to collectively raise the awareness of construction safety.”

Zurich recommends that construction firms take action toward safer environments by following these six safety tips to help reduce falls:

1) Assess site hazards to determine the appropriate equipment needed for a job
2) Invest in proper equipment, ensuring it’s used appropriately and with caution
3) Inspect and remove any fall exposures while securing materials so they don’t fall
4) Train employees on fall protection and equipment inspection, having accountability in place for ignoring safety precautions
5) Document safety-training activities and non-compliance with protocols
6) Before starting work, discuss the day’s tasks, required tools and potential hazards

“Falls from heights are a major concern on construction sites, ranking as the leading cause of death in the industry,” said Scott Rasor, head of construction at Zurich North America. “More than 200 U.S. construction workers are killed each year from falls. Taking some time to bring safety front and center is important for our industry.”

Zurich aims to provide solutions for the risks that construction firms face today and in the future. By combining traditional and specialized insurance with customized analysis and risk management services, Zurich works with construction companies to help reduce the total cost of risk. Zurich’s highly trained staff brings years of experience to the operational and technical aspects of construction while demonstrating leadership and influence in key construction and insurance industry associations.

“We try to inspire everyone in the construction industry to be leaders in safety,” Lambert said. “It’s a philosophy and strong team approach that can lead to safer projects. It can be as simple as employees meeting before each shift to discuss hazards and ways to prevent them.”

For more information on construction safety and how Zurich is helping companies operate safer job sites, visit zurichna.com/zna/construction/safety-week.htm.