Like many industries across the nation, the construction field has drastically changed over the years. The changes are not only noticeable in the way things are built and what tools and methods are utilized, but also in the way workers are protected. It is well known that construction workers face many risks and dangers on the job; however, these dangers were much worse several decades ago.
Construction workers currently in their 50s, 60s or even 70s can confirm that safety was not exactly a top priority in years past. And, the tasks that some workers had to complete during that era would be described as downright insane and unsafe. While looking back it is clear that things could have been a lot safer even back then, it appears that the industry has taken steps to reduce the dangers of construction work accidents.
While numerous measures have been taken to make construction work safer today, serious dangers still remain in the industry. Based on current numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was found that 937 construction workers were killed in 2015. This number marks the most fatalities in any industry, and the deadliest year for construction since 2008. These fatalities accounted for 21.4 percent of all worker fatalities occurring that year.
Putting it in different terms; this rate suggests that 18 construction workers were killed each week in 2015. And, while spokespersons claim that tremendous improvements in safety have been made, it is clear that they need to be more vigilant about ensuring that these changes are implemented and maintained. There are four major areas of risk and concern in the construction industry. These include incidents that could cause a worker to be caught in or caught between something, being electrocuted, falling, or being struck by an object.
Suffering an injury in a construction work accident can be very serious. A person could suffer temporary or permanent disabilities, making it difficult to return to work. Even worse, a worker could be killed as a result of an unsafe condition in the work environment. Thus, those harmed by a construction work accident, which include surviving family members of a deceased worker, should understand their rights and options. Workers’ compensation benefits could help with financial burdens caused by the incident, covering medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages and other related damages.
Source: Safetyandhealthmagazine.com, “As construction work increases, so do dangers,” Tom Musik, March 26, 2017