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Construction has half of the country’s dangerous jobs

Any visit to a construction site reveals the potential dangers faced by workers. Twelve of the 25 most dangerous jobs in this country, based upon fatalities in construction workers’ accidents, are in construction according to a recent report from the business analysis firm AdvisorSmith.

Most dangerous jobs

Some of the construction and construction-related jobs in the list of the 25 most dangerous jobs in 2018 included:

  • Derrick workers who set up and man drilling equipment: 46 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • Roofers: 41 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • Ironworkers: 29 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • Crane operators: 19 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • Landscaping supervisors: 18 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • Construction helpers: 18 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • Highway maintenance workers: 18 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • Cement masons: 17 deaths per 100,00 workers.
  • Construction workers: 13 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • Mining machine operators: 11 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Improved safety

Overall safety rates for fatal and nonfatal construction injuries improved between 1992 and 2015. Fatal injuries fell approximately 30 percent during that period, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training.

The construction industry implemented a zero-based policy toward unsafe working conditions with increased attention on safety. On a relative basis, however, AdvisorSmith reported that construction still comprises almost half of the deadliest jobs in the country.

All jobs

Throughout the economy, work-related deaths rose by nine percent in recent years from 4,821 in 2014 to 5,250 in 2018. But that rise accompanied increased employment. The death rate increased approximately 2.2 percent when adjusted for the number of workers on the job.

Construction fatalities reflected these trends. In 2015, 985 construction workers suffered fatal work-related injuries, according to the CPWR. This was higher than any other industry and accounted for 20 percent of the total deadly work-related injuries in this country.

The lowest number of construction-related deaths took place in 2011 with 781 reported deaths. Fatalities climbed by 26 percent to 985 by 2015, according to the most recent year in the CPWR’s analysis.

Employment and wages

Self-employed workers were 3.3 times more likely to die from a work-related injury than hourly and salaried workers. There were 2.9 deaths per 100,000 salaried and wage workers. Deaths for self-employed workers were 9.4 per 100,000.

Average salaries for many of the most dangerous jobs were below the May 2019 average mean wage of $53,490. Also, according to the report, companies hiring workers with the most dangerous jobs have higher than average workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Workers injured in construction other dangerous jobs may be entitled to compensation. An attorney can help pursue your rights through workers’ compensation or a private civil action.