Every day an average of 13 workers die on the job in the United States working dangerous jobs. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, 4,821 workers died on the job in 2014. 20.5% of the worker fatalities in private industry were in construction. That’s one in five worker deaths coming from the construction industry.

Falls were the leading cause of construction worker deaths, accounting for nearly 40%. Other leading causes included electrocution, struck by object and caught-in/between. Referred to as the “fatal four” for construction workers, these causes were responsible in total for more than half (60.6%) of construction worker deaths in 2014.

Improving safety on construction sites can save lives. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 545 workers’ lives could be saved every year just by eliminating deaths occurring as a result of construction’s fatal four. OSHA’s number one cited violation in 2015 was fall protection. Considering that falls were the leading cause of death in construction, a strong focus on safety surrounding fall protection in construction is warranted. the third most cited violation had to do with scaffolding, which also ties into the fall hazard in construction.

Within the construction industry, Forbes reporting of the Most Dangerous Jobs has specifically mentioned roofers, steelworkers, electrical power line installers/repairers and general construction workers. Forbes information came from CareerCast using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the CDC. Here is the complete list.

Ten Most Dangerous Jobs of 2016

  1. Taxi Drivers
  2. Nursing Assistant
  3. Construction Worker
  4. EMTs
  5. Truck Drivers
  6. Corrections Officers
  7. Firefighters
  8. Police Officers
  9. Farmers
  10. Veterinarians

Transportation-related incidences are the most common cause of work-related deaths. There are a reported 11 accidents involving semi trucks every day. Driving a truck is a dangerous job for truck drivers, as well as a danger for others on the road.

Taxi drivers also face the danger of accidents, in addition to a high rate of robberies. Nursing assistants and others in the medical field have a high chance of exposure to various contagions. This leads to a high rate of work-related illnesses. EMTs, firefighters, police officers and corrections officers all face work-related dangers every day. They are called on to go forth into hazardous situations that sometimes result in their injury or even in death, as we’ve seen in many news reports. Farmers also have a very high instance of fatalities. On farms throughout this country, there is the operation of with heavy farm machinery that can sometimes be dangerous. Finally, the danger to veterinarians is the result of injuries sustained from large animals and sometimes-dangerous animals.

construction-1A Focus on Job Safety

Policies and procedures must be put into place to protect American workers. Although OSHA and other agencies have done much to improve job safety, there is much more to be done. In a labor department report on the topic of workers’ compensation, Thomas Perez, the secretary of labor, said “A nation built on the dignity of work must provide for workers’ safety, as well as take care of them if they get hurt on the job.”

We need to focus our attention on better job safety and the enhancement of safety precautions to help prevent worker fatalities, injuries and illnesses. We must also focus on ensuring that we provide adequate workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers.

Have you been injured on a construction site or anywhere on the job in the Wilkes-Barre, Scranton or Northeast PA? Call the Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Distasio & Kowalski today at 570-970-5400. We will schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in our Wilkes-Barre office. Your safety is our top priority.