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Construction workers fear for safety on the job

According to a recent survey by the National Safety Council, 58 percent of those who work in the construction industry in the United States feel like safety is secondary to job task completion and productivity.

More than half of American construction workers surveyed said that management at their companies do only the minimum under the law to ensure their workers' safety. Another 47 percent of construction workers stated that workers fear for their jobs if they report safety concerns or violations.

The construction industry is inherently dangerous and has the highest number of annual on-the-job deaths.What's more, 51 percent say management does only the minimum required by law to keep employees safe, and 47 percent say employees are afraid to report safety issues and violations.

The chief executive officer and president of the National Safety Council said that the survey's results illustrate that "many workers still worry about whether they will make it home safely."

In 2015, there were 4,836 workplace fatalities. Of that total, 937 worked in the construction industry. Statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that if auto accidents are excluded, falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths. In second place is getting struck by an object, with electrocution and getting caught between equipment/stationary objects rounding out the top four.

What is most disturbing is that in all industries, employees' perception that management is callous when it comes to their personal safety on the job. While 62 percent believe that all personnel are responsible for solving on-the-job safety problems, 32 percent say that managers ignore their workers' safety records at promotion time.

Fewer than half of workers feel that adequate safety meetings are conducted, and almost as many believe that standards are set much higher for employee performance than workplace safety.

Are you a New York City construction worker who was injured on the job due to safety lapses? You may be able to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Source: EHS Today, "58 Percent of Construction Workers Say Safety Takes a Backseat to Productivity," Sandy Smith, accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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