No one expects to say goodbye to their families in the morning, clock into work and then never go home. Fatal construction injuries are shockingly common, though. Missouri construction workers take on a significant risk just by showing up to work.
Construction workers are dying
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of private industry worker deaths in 2019 happened in the construction industry. That year alone 1,061 construction workers were killed because of their job. Death is not the only problem, either. Every year, an average of 200,000 construction workers suffer serious nonfatal injuries.
Working at heights is a problem
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration — OSHA — reports that falls are one of the biggest contributors to severe and fatal construction injuries. Lack of fall protection equipment is a contributing factor, but so are uneven surfaces, misplaced items and spills. OSHA also points to the following as big safety risk factors on construction sites:
- Falling objects
- Caught between accidents
Experts believe that an easy way to minimize the number of construction injuries is for employers to emphasize a culture that prioritizes safety. This prioritization of safety can be applied in different ways, including implementing common sense rules. Keeping work areas free of unnecessary debris, providing essential safety equipment and keeping workers away from machines they are not operating are just a few examples.
Accidents can still happen even with the best safety rules and equipment. Workers who have suffered severe construction injuries may need help getting back on their feet, which is where workers’ compensation benefits often come into play. Missouri families who have lost loved ones in construction accidents can also turn to workers’ comp, as they may qualify for temporary death benefits.