Construction Safety: A Glance at the Industry

Understanding of the trends in construction employment and on-the-job safety will help in one’s filing for workers’ compensation for injury caused by an accident at the construction site while performing work.

Employment Trends

There are over 7 million people who are working in the construction industry which is a total of about 6%of the country’s workforce.

Between 1991 and 2001, the unemployment rate in the construction industry increased by 16.8% but dropped to 6.4% in 2000, and in 2001, it increased again to 7.3%. The general unemployment rate in 2001 was at 4.8%. The employment projections for the construction industry in 2010 showed that employment in the industry will increase at the rate of 1.2% which is more gradual compared to 1.4% rate for the economy.

There were about 771 extended mass layoffs in the construction industry in 2001, where the average:

  • Workweek in the construction industry was 39.3 hours
  • Hourly earnings of workers in the construction were at $18.34, and in the same year, the average hourly earnings of all workers in the country were at $14.32
  • Weekly earnings in the construction industry were $720.76

Construction Injuries and Safety On The Job

The following are some data on safety and on-the-job injuries in the construction industry:

  • One in every 5 workplace fatalities is a construction worker.
  • Since there were about 10% of the construction companies hire beyond 20 workers, the majority do not have formal job safety regulations or programs.
  • Countrywide, there is about 15% of the workers’ compensation costs are attributed to the injuries in the construction industry.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the “lost-workday” rate for the construction workers was 5.7 for every 100 full-time workers in 1992. This lost workday rate was the highest recorded of any major economic sector.
  • In 2001, there were about 1,225 fatal occupational injuries in construction, excluding the deaths on September 11. It was in the same year when there were about 481,400 nonfatal injuries and diseases in the construction. The incidence rate for nonfatal injuries and diseases were about 7.9 for every 100 full-time construction workers and about 5.7 for every 100 fulltime workers in all the private industry in the same year.

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