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Construction profits rise along with job-related fatalities

A recent construction accident that resulted in a worker falling thirty feet at an Amazon site is raising questions about safety procedures and the precautions that were in place that could have prevented this horrific event.

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveals alarming statistics for the construction industry. Inadequate fall protections were the most common violations, making the problem an industry-related issue, not solely with one company. Often cited are developers and construction workers taking shortcuts, prioritizing revenues over safety.

Startling statistics

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals more than 1,000 construction worker fatalities in 2019. The number represents the highest number of deaths out of all industries. It is also the largest total in 12 years. Nearly 400 occurred from falls – the most common accident in the industry – similar to the most recent one.

For every 100,000 full-time construction professionals, nearly ten lost their lives at their respective worksites. In comparison, private industry stats are at 3.8. Work-related injuries that don’t result in death are 112.3 per 10,000 workers, with nearly 80,000 requiring recovery that keeps them off the job for multiple days.

The tragic trend shows no signs of slowing as the first quarter of 2021 saw the highest fines coming from the construction industry.

When it comes to employers’ financial pictures, profits continue to increase for developers and speculators while deaths on construction sites also continue to grow. Prioritizing profits over safety often results in looking the other way instead of implementing safer working conductions that protect these hard-working professionals.