Safety on the Job: Construction Among Industries Seeing An Uptick in Fatality Rates
The construction industry was hard hit as a result of the housing bubble, record foreclosures and the economic recession that stopped development both in the residential and commercial sectors. Now with an improved economy, we’re seeing the construction sector picking up. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we are also seeing a rise in the fatality rate in the sector. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatality rate in the construction sector rose from 9.1 per 100,000 full time employees (FTE) workers in 2011 to 9.5 in 2012. Workplace deaths in private-sector construction jumped from 738 fatalities in 2011 to 775 fatalities in 2012. Before the 2012 increase, fatalities in private-sector construction had declined for five consecutive years (and it must be noted they’re still down overall 37% since 2006).
Construction is not the only industry to see an increase in workplace deaths. In oil and gas extraction, in which firms rely heavily on temporary and contract workers, fatalities were up 23% in 2012. There were 138 deaths, a record high for the sector. The transportation industry also continues to be particularly risky, accounting for more than two out of every five fatal work injuries in 2012. More than half of the 1,789 fatal injuries in the transportation sector were roadway incidents involving trucks and other vehicles, while 16% involved pedestrians who were struck by vehicles, many in work zones.
In an effort to improve the numbers, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has undertaken multiple outreach and educational initiatives, including a campaign to prevent falls in construction. The department is also planning to step up enforcement of workplace safety rules. According to Labor Secretary Tom Perez, the agency is committed to preventing “needless” deaths, and employers must meet “their legal and moral obligation to send their workers home safe every single day.”
At Caitlin-Morgan, we’re committed to providing you with insurance solutions for the industries you serve, including Workers Compensation for the construction and transportation industries. We are also committed to helping you assist your clients in work safety, OSHA compliance and preventing losses on the job. Give us a call at 877.226.1027.