The construction industry has begun to place an even greater focus on safety on the jobsite. According to the latest National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2010 conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, that effort is beginning to pay off in fewer workplace fatalities.
According to the study, “The number of fatal work injuries in the private industry construction sector declined by 10 percent in 2010. Fatal work injuries in construction have declined every year since 2006 and are down nearly 40 percent over that time. Economic conditions may explain much of this decline with total hours worked having declined another 6 percent in construction in 2010, after declines in both 2008 and 2009. Even with the lower fatal injury total, construction accounted for more fatal work injuries than any other industry in 2010.”
When the study profiles the fatal injuries by industry, they found that “Fatal work injuries in the construction and extraction occupations declined by 9 percent in 2010 to the lowest level since the series high reported in 2006. Construction trades worker fatalities were down 15 percent (from 621 in 2009 to 530 in 2010) and have declined 46 percent since 2006. Fatal work injuries involving construction laborers, the worker subgroup accounting for the highest number of fatalities in the construction trades worker group, were down by 16 percent in 2010 to 193 fatal work injuries.
“Fatal falls declined 2 percent in 2010 (from 645 in 2009 to 635 in 2010). Overall, fatal falls are down 25 percent from the series high of 847 fatal falls reported in 2007. Since 2007, fatal falls in the private construction industry have decreased by 42 percent. Fatal injuries resulting from being struck by objects or equipment were also lower, down 4 percent in 2010 to 402. Fatal work injuries involving exposure to harmful substances or environments were up slightly, but electrocutions declined.”
It is clear that the safety programs being taught by responsible members of our industry have made a substantial improvement in the overall safety of our workers on our jobsites around the country.
Charts courtesy of US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, 2011