If you want to know why the construction industry has such a reputation for being dangerous, look no further than the annual deaths. When you weigh them against the total deaths for all American workers, what you find is that slightly over one out of every five workers who pass away on the job was working in construction at the time of the accident. That is slightly more than 20%.
Those numbers come straight from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They also note that more than 1,000 construction workers passed away in 2018, the most recent year for which they have all of the statistics compiled.
What is it about construction that makes it so risky? Is it the workers themselves, who tend to be male? Is it the nature of the job? Is there a lack of safety regulations, despite the fact that OSHA clearly tracks the statistics?
To a large degree, it’s just the nature of the job itself. Any job with heavy machinery and power tools exposes workers to a serious amount of risk, and most construction workers use both. You also have fall risks on nearly every job. It’s not just a worker falling from a skyscraper; a fall off of a five-foot ladder while painting a ceiling can also be fatal.
There are some ways to mitigate these risks, such as using fall protection and ensuring that workers have proper training on all of the tools and machines they use. However, the risk is still there. Families who have lost a loved one or workers who have suffered serious injuries must know what steps to take.