Construction industry fatalities rise 6% in 2016

ConDig (20-Dec-17).  The rate of fatal injuries in the construction industry increased 6% in 2016 to 991 worker deaths compared with 937 in 2015, according to the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

The increase continued to keep construction at the top of the list of the highest number of fatalities in all industries and represented 19.9% of all worker deaths in 2016 and 22.2% of all private industry worker deaths.

The fatal injury rate per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in the construction industry remained at 10.1 in 2016. For all workers, the fatal injury rate rose from 3.4 in 2015 to 3.6 in 2016.

Occupations that saw an increase in fatal injury rates last year include roofers that went from 39.7 to 48.6 and first-line supervisors that rose from 16.1 to 18. Carpenters edged up from 6.7 to 7.6 and painters rose from 7.6 to 8.6.

BLS figures show that falls, struck by objects, electrocutions and caught-in/between accounted for 63.7% of all construction worker deaths in last year. There was a rise in total construction worker deaths for each of the “Fatal Four” in 2016.

The other leading cause of construction worker deaths was transportation incidents that accounted for 246 fatalities in the industry.

“Today’s occupational fatality data show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016 – the highest since 2008. America’s workers deserve better,” said Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is committed to finding new and innovative ways of working with employers and employees to improve workplace safety and health. OSHA will work to address these trends through enforcement, compliance assistance, education and training, and outreach.”

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