A new report provides some good news for the construction industry in the United States. The fatality rate for construction laborers has been falling in recent years, even faster than the decline in the rate of overall construction fatalities in the US. The recent report from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) looked at an 11-year period between 2003 and 2014. Let’s take a closer look at what they found.
During this time period, the number of fatalities and the fatality rate (number of deaths per 100,000 workers) for all construction workers was down overall. Experts say some of this can be attributed to the recession of the late 2000’s, which caused construction employment to drop for several years. Despite the fact that the total number of fatalities has actually increased slightly in recent years, since work has picked back up, the numbers are still much lower than they were in 2003.
So, what about construction laborers? The fatality rate has been dropping for them in the three year testing period (2011-2013). During this period, the average rate was 15.4— which is significantly lower than several other occupations, including roofers (40.7), ironworkers (31.9), and powerline installers (48.6). In 2003, this number of deaths among construction laborers was 27.9.
Researchers say that despite the decrease in fatalities among construction laborers, there is still room for improvement. Experts in the industry want to know why there has been a decrease and want to figure out how to make sure the trend continues. Many have been working hard to make construction safer in work zones, use of fall protection, the oil and gas sector, and demolition work.
Have you seen a decrease of accidents on your construction site? What have you, as a company, done differently to keep this downward trend in accidents and fatalities? Share in the comments!