Construction Industry Fatalities Increase
Construction industry fatalities increased in 2012 to a rate of 9.9 per 100,000 workers, more than 8% greater than a year earlier, according to an AFL-CIO report.
According to a report posted at Business Insurance, the energy boom in North Dakota might be a contributing factor as the flood of new workers sent the demand for housing and commercial space there soaring.
That state’s construction fatality rate was nearly 10 times the national average, 97.4 per 100,000 workers.
“All of these people that are coming to North Dakota to work, they need places to live, they need places to eat,” Eric Brooks, area director of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, told Business Insurance. “The towns are growing up faster than anything–schools, hospitals. This construction industry has grown up at the same rate, right along side (the oil and gas industry).”
The data from 2012 is the most recent available.
Details from the AFL-CIO report
The AFL-CIO’s report, “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” says 4628 workers were killed on the job in the U.S. in 2012, with another 50,000 deaths attributed to occupational diseases. The overall job fatality rate has been fairly consistent in recent years, at 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.
The construction sector showed the largest number of worker fatalities in 2012, a total of 806, followed by transportation and warehousing (741), and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (509). Although construction showed the highest number of deaths, it didn’t have the highest fatality rate. That distinction goes to agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, at 22.8 per 100,000 workers.
That’s more than double the construction industry rate.
Construction and “extraction workers” (a category that includes earth drillers, blasters, and mining machine operators) accounted for more than half of the deaths among contract workers, the report said, with a total of 388. Falls were the biggest cause of death (a total of 229).
The AFL-CIO said a total of 3.8 million work-related injuries and illnesses also were reported, but many others were not. “The true toll is likely two or three times greater, or 7.6 million to 11.4 million injuries a year,” the report said.