According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction workers are subject to more workplace injuries and fatalities than any other in the country. In fact, 874 fatalities, or 20.5%, of all deaths in the private industry affected those in construction. They can occur for a plethora of reasons, such as lack of protective gear, insufficient training, poor accountability of management, or defective equipment.
The leading causes of construction worker fatalities were, in order: falls, electrocution, struck by an object, and caught-in/between a machine or other entity.
George T. Bochanis, workers compensation attorney of the Law Offices of George T. Bochanis, lamented, ”The industry needs to create and maintain efforts for a safe and proactive workplace for our construction workers. Safety is an investment that keeps skilled employees on the job as well as projects on schedule by reducing the number of accidents that cause injuries and work delays.”
Despite its high rate of workplace fatalities, construction worker deaths in the United States have actually been on the decline. For example, 1970 saw, on average, 38 deaths per day whereas that number has dropped to just 12 in 2014.
Bochanis concluded, “A proactive culture centered around safety helps to save lives, retain construction workers, and decrease both delays and insurance claims, while at the same time, enhances business productivity and profitability. Developing a stable and safe workplace and industry requires constant effort and persistent improvement. The result is definitely worth the investment in terms of time and resources for everyone directly and indirectly involved in construction.”