In 2017, Fortune reported that work-related fatalities in the construction industry had reached its highest levels since the recession. While the study did not single out New York, this may nonetheless cause some concern among New Yorkers who work in the construction industry. There is some good news, however, as Fortune stated that despite this hike in work-related deaths, American work-related fatalities had trended downward.
Four decades ago, the number of workers killed on the job each year was around 14,000. Fast-forward to the present and that number is around 5,000. Work has, in general, become a safer place for Americans. However, the construction industry defies this trend by consistently spiking upward. In spite of this, construction is still not the most dangerous profession. Truck drivers have the highest fatality rates, while the logging industry has the most injuries.
Forbes further adds to this by listing the top 20 most dangerous jobs or industries in 2017. At the top of their list was fishing. Construction makes its first appearance in the 12 position on the list. However, there were other occupations further up that are often grouped with construction, including roofers and structural iron and steel workers.
Interestingly enough, the safest states to work in are New York neighbors, including New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New Jersey. Forbes attributes low rates of occupational fatalities in these states to the fact that not many new homes are built there each year.
Supervisors, managers and businessowners in the construction industry may need to focus more on safety on the job. This might not only trend fatality rates downward, but reduce workers’ compensation claims. One way to achieve this is through providing top-notch safety equipment, but perhaps just as important is providing proper training on the safest ways to complete dangerous tasks.