Construction growing in Bay Area, but dangers lurk on the job

Earlier this year, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development in San Francisco reported that construction was the fastest-growing industry across the Bay Area. That's great news for everyone who works in the building trades across Northern California.

Still, many construction jobs are dangerous professions, including electrical work.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International, using U.S. government statistics, reported that in 2016 alone, 154 workers died of electrical-related causes. That was a 15 percent increase over the total of fatalities in 2015 of occupational hazards leading to a fatal workplace incident. Electrocutions are considered to be one of the "fatal four" causes of construction deaths.

Of that, 98 percent of fatal electric-related injuries happened in the private sector, the remainder in government jobs. All but four of the deaths were attributed to electrocution. Additionally, 53 percent of the deaths occurred in the construction field.

The organization also reported that more than 1,600 workers suffered injuries in 2016 that required time away from work. Five was the median number of days missed for the nonfatal injuries.

Big construction projects require a lot of people who must work together as a team and take care to ensure safety, and that starts with the project leaders. There must be a series of safeguards to make sure that all circuits are off, for example. The fact that it is cannot be assumed.

Often, we take for granted that our loved ones are going to leave the house for work in the morning and come home safely to us at night. But in the construction industry, the risks are greater than in many other professions. If your family has been affected by the death of a loved one, or by or an injury that will require medical care because of an accident on a construction site, it would be worth consulting with an attorney experienced in injury law to determine your options.

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