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Construction workers lead nation in workplace fatalities

There are boring jobs, dirty jobs and disrespected jobs. But there's a career for everyone, and workers in all professions take pride in the care they take in their products and services. Some jobs, however, are notably more dangerous than others -- creating hazardous conditions and workplace injuries.

In the more recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry topped the list of dangerous professions for the fourth straight year. There were 937 workers killed on the job at construction sites around the country, a 4 percent increases from the previous year and the most construction-related deaths since 2008.

Construction worker injuries and deaths had been dropping steadily until 2011, when a surge in new building projects added more employees and more hazards. Agriculture, forestry and hunting & fishing caused more relative injuries but the sheer number of construction workers led to more absolute casualties.

Foundation, structure and exterior contractors saw the highest increase of death rates among various construction-related specialties, while roofers and roofing repair specialists lost the largest number of lives in the year starting October 2015. Slips, trips and falls caused the plurality of construction-related deaths at 40 percent of the total.

Special attention must be paid to workplace conditions that could cause one of the "fatal four" hazards: falls, object strikes, electrocution and vehicles or equipment pinning workers. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers guidelines for safe operations, as well as relief from violations so workers can expect the safest possible work site.

Source: ConstructConnect, "Construction Leads All Industries in Total Worker Deaths," Kendall Jones, accessed Aug. 03, 2017

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