Construction Industry Experiencing Increases in Workplace Injuries and Fatalities



The construction industry, whether it’s involving small housing projects (35% of which involve entire home renovations) or major industrial jobs, has always relied on safety. Across the U.S., however, accidents have continued to happen and have resulted in serious injuries to many and even loss of life.

According to Capterra, one in ten construction workers are injured every single year and an average worker, over a 45-year career in construction, has a one in 200 chance of dying on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) have implemented regulations to ensure worker safety: the ASME stating that outrigger blocking or cribbing for crane operation, for example, must have sufficient strength in order to prevent bending, crushing, or failure and OSHA has various standards to protect workers. The most violated OSHA standard is currently not adhering to fall protection regulations.

As NBC Bay Area reports, a freak accident in Oakland left 12 construction workers seriously injured.

Atop a building under construction, workers were pouring and smoothing concrete when the structure gave way and the 12 people fell about 15 feet and went underneath wet concrete and debris.

Oakland Fire Department Deputy Chief Darren White stated that all 12 workers were then safely extracted from the worksite.

“The company [Johnstone Moyer, Inc.] needs to know the safe way to do things,” said Peter Melton from Cal-OSHA. “Their workers need to be properly trained on safe procedures. We want everyone to go home at the end of the day safe and sound.”

Large construction projects like this usually require cranes and other heavy machinery. These machines can be just as dangerous for workers.

This year’s 2017 Conexpo-Con/AGG expo covered a record 2.8 million-plus square feet of exhibits across Las Vegas. According to Me Construction News, this year’s expo focused much more on the future of the construction industry in relation to advancing technology and how it pertains to workplace safety.

“Our shows are renowned as an industry showcase of ‘what’s next,’ and this year’s show did not disappoint,” said Rich Goldsbury, the chair and president of the expo and CEO of Doosan Bobcat North America and Oceania. “From the new Tech Experience, which highlighted the connection between technology and construction, to the culmination of AEM’s infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge, this year’s show demonstrated the rapid innovation in our industry.”

Each year, roughly 35% of on-the-job injuries are caused by large machine accidents and contribute to 14% of work-related fatalities.

Safety + Health reports that there are currently 10.3 million construction workers in the U.S., but the industry as a whole experienced a 26% increase in overall work-related deaths from 2011 to 2015.

“These are real people behind the numbers, and they show up every day expecting to come home,” said Gavis West, research analyst for the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).

Leave a Reply