More work-related falls and fatalities have gone hand-in-hand with the rebounding construction jobs in the economy. The data in a recent journal showed a positive correlation with fall injuries and population density and construction activity. The full article, from a data report by the Center for Construction Research and Training, can be found here (PDF link).
While the article indicates the amount of construction industry jobs still have not reached pre-recession levels, the industry as a whole is rebounding. With that increase in construction activity is a coinciding increase in falls—and even deaths. As the article points out, “fall deaths in construction are more prevalent than in other major industries.”
Interestingly, according to the data, roofers, older workers, Hispanic workers, foreign-born workers, and self-employed workers had a higher risk of fatal falls than the average among all construction workers.
Further safety efforts (and reinforcement) are necessary in the construction industry. The base level nature of the job, however, means that some work injuries will occur. Workers’ compensation law helps protect those workers are their families.
Recent data from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate inadequate training for older workers likely contributed to an almost 20% increase in fatalities among older workers.
According to the data, there were 4,679 fatal work-related injuries recorded in 2014 – an increase from 4,585 in 2013. Older workers from age 45 to 54 decreased in fatalities from 1,169 to 1,127. Deaths due to work injuries for workers age 55 to 64 increased from 948 in 2010 to 965 in 2014. The greatest increase from 2010 to 2014 was from workers 65 and older: 582 in 2010 up to 656 in 2014. Experts noted employers need to continually train their entire workforce, not just new hires, about hazards, processes and procedures.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 260 fatalities involving workers 65 and older resulted from transportation incidents. Fatal work injuries among women also increased, rising 12.5% to 359. Of the fatalities among women, 137 resulted from transportation incidents and another 111 from violence in the workplace. Authorities noted a disturbing trend of more violence coming from personal relationship problems that spill over into work.
The work-relatedness of these personal relationships resulting in violence at work is a contested issue.