Tap to Call Directions

Do Construction Workers Have the Most Dangerous Jobs?

construction worker on scaffolding

The numbers don’t lie: The most dangerous jobs you can work in New York State – or anywhere else in the country, for that matter – are found within the construction industry.

Construction had the most fatal occupational injuries out of all industries in the United States and in New York in 2014, according to the most recent national statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

During that year, there were 899 fatalities in the construction industry in the U.S., accounting for 19 percent of the nation’s 4,821 total work-related deaths.

During that year, there were 899 fatalities in the construction industry in the U.S., accounting for 19 percent of the nation’s 4,821 total work-related deaths.
In other words, one in five workers killed on the job in our country were construction workers.
In other words, one in five workers killed on the job in our country were construction workers.
As you can see in this chart, the total number of occupational fatalities in construction was far higher than any other industry in the U.S. in 2014:

Fatal Occupational Injuries – United States – 2014
   IndustryFatalities
   Construction899
   Transportation & Warehousing766
   Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting584
   Government435
   Professional & Business Services425
   All Industries4,821

However, while construction had the highest total number of deaths, the industry did not have the highest fatality rate (number of deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). Instead, the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry had the highest rate at 25.6.

Fatality Rate – United States – 2014
   IndustryRate
   Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting25.6
   Mining & Extraction14.2
   Transportation & Warehousing14.1
   Construction9.8
   Wholesale Trade5.1
   All Industries  3.4
According to BLS statistics for New York, 50 construction workers died from on-the-job injuries in 2014, accounting for 21 percent of the state’s total occupational fatalities.
Fatal Occupational Injuries – New York – 2014
   IndustryFatalities
   Construction50
   Government37
   Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting27
   Transportation & Warehousing19
   Leisure & Hospitality19
   All Industries241

 

Why Are Construction Jobs So Dangerous?

Construction workers simply face a wide range of hazards when they arrive at the job site each morning. As the below BLS statistics show, falls from heights such as roofs, ladders and scaffolding clearly present the deadliest risk:

As the below BLS statistics show, falls from heights such as roofs, ladders and scaffolding clearly present the deadliest risk:

Among the many other risks that New York construction workers face on the job are:

  • Getting struck by objects and materials such as tools or debris
  • Accidents involving trucks, forklifts, demolition and excavation machinery and equipment
  • Burns from fires, explosions and electricity mishaps
  • Using dangerous tools, machines and materials
  • Handling and moving heavy materials
  • Trench collapses or cave-ins
  • Being exposed to the elements and air contaminants.

While some of these risks are inherent in construction work, many of them can be minimized or eliminated altogether by employers in the construction industry strictly following state and federal safety regulations.

In fact, New York Labor Laws require employers in the construction industry “to provide reasonable and adequate protection for the lives, health and safety” of their workers and all of those in the area of construction activity.

Any construction site owner or contractor who fails to live up to this duty may be held liable for any harm that results from this neglect, regardless of what a contract states or what local customs and practices may be.

It is important to seek help from a law firm that has experience with handling construction site injury and wrongful death cases, including cases in which compensation is pursued through New York Labor Laws.

For nearly three decades, the personal injury lawyers of Powers & Santola, LLP, have helped injured construction workers and their families in Albany, Syracuse and throughout New York to seek the justice and compensation they deserved.

We can review your case today. Contact us for a free consultation.

no comments