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Construction jobs still among the nation's deadliest: Learn why

According to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction workers still have some of the deadliest jobs in the country.

Figures from 2016 aren't yet available, but the 2015 figures paint a grim picture: Deaths among construction workers increased 4 percent over the year before -- making it the most lethal on record so far this decade. Construction workers are the victims in about 1 out of every 5 on-the-job deaths in this country.

Perhaps even worse, the industry had been experiencing a steady decrease in worker deaths each year from 2006 to 2011, when they suddenly began to rise again a little each year.

Some construction workers are apparently more at risk than others -- general laborers, carpenters, electricians, pipe layers and plumbers reported the most fatalities.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has taken note of the "Fatal Four" causes of on-site deaths:

  • Slips and falls
  • Getting hit by an object, such as a dropped tool
  • Electric shock
  • Crush deaths from being caught in or between equipment, falling building materials or collapsed structures

Tragically, the ordinary slip-and-fall was the root cause of almost 39 percent of construction deaths -- which indicates not enough is being done to promote worker safety in this area. The majority of slip-and-fall accidents are preventable with proper precautions.

Workers should be required to have slip-resistant footwear on at all times. In addition, everyone on a job site should share in the responsibility for making sure that debris and other tripping hazards are promptly removed. Workers should also never be working above ground without the proper personal safety equipment, like harnesses.

Another thing that these figures indicate is that there are likely a distressingly high number of slip-and-fall accidents that don't lead to death -- but do cause significant disabilities. A construction worker who survives a bad fall may still suffer broken bones, paralysis (if his or her spine becomes injured in the fall) and head trauma. One false step can lead to years of surgeries, physical therapy, pain and a reduced quality of life.

If you've been the victim of a construction accident, talk to an attorney today about your right to compensation. You deserve fair compensation for your injuries to help you recover and care for your family while you're unable to work.

Source: Construct Connect, "Construction Leads All Industries in Total Worker Deaths," Kendall Jones, accessed July 28, 2017

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