The construction industry is one of the most dangerous for workers in the United States. In 2009, private industry construction workers died on the job nearly three times more often than all other workers in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, as other industries show improvement for worker safety, construction is moving in the opposite direction. In 2012, the new Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported that overall workplace fatalities decreased by over six percent while construction site fatalities increased by five percent.
In addition to these staggering fatality rates, each year tens of thousands of workers are hurt on the job site and many incur severe injuries such as amputations, head and neck traumas, and broken bones. Due to these serious construction injuries, workers can experience long periods of disability and lost wages. In some cases, injuries render a worker permanently unable to work. Ongoing medical costs and loss of income can have an enormous impact on the worker and his or her family.
As the economy emerges from the recession, the construction industry boasts of increased activity. However, this also means an increased number of workers will be put at risk. Employers are obligated to create and sustain a safe environment for workers. However, rules are sometimes violated or not properly enforced. Due to the size, scope and multiple groups involved in a construction site, many factors can contribute or lead to an injury or fatality. Construction accidents can result from several types of negligence including improper work methods, dangerous site conditions, lack of safety precautions, improper training, or faulty machinery or equipment.
An injured worker may be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills.