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Construction Worker Deaths Increase for First Time Since 2006

Written by Ankin Law Office

The construction industry employs nearly 9 million people, making it one of the largest industries in the American economy. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous industries– and it appears to be getting even more dangerous.

According to a report of 2012 data from the Center for Construction Research and Training, construction fatalities increased for the first time since 2006, with 849 construction workers dying on the job in 2012 – an 8.7 percent increase over the previous year.

The largest increases in construction deaths from 2011 to 2012 were among workers 45 and older (15.2 percent), self-employed workers (27.8 percent), workers in residential construction (37.2 percent), and residential roofing contractors (47.6 percent). Although the number of deaths among workers younger than 45 increased as well, by contrast it only increased by 1.9 percent.

The report, which was released earlier this month, indicates that falls were the leading cause of construction worker deaths, accounting for 34.6 percent in 2012. Fall-related construction deaths increased to 294 in 2012 from 269 the year before.

As we recently reported, construction workers aren’t the only ones at risk of injury and death due to falls, though they certainly make a large portion of fall victims. Each year, thousands of Americans die as a result of falls and millions more are injured in falls. Moreover, a study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) earlier this year found that falls are a leading cause of workplace accidents, with most falls involving ladders. The study found that construction workers are particularly susceptible to ladder injuries, making up an estimated 81% of fall injuries treated in emergency departments throughout the country.

According to the NIOSH study, because falls are the leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths in the construction industry, various regulatory agencies – including NIOSH, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Center for Construction Research and Training – “are promoting a national campaign to prevent workplace falls [and] NIOSH is also developing innovative technologies to complement safe ladder use.”

More than 4,000 workers die every year from workplace accidents, and an additional 50,000 die annually from occupational diseases, which averages 150 worker deaths every day in this country, according to Jessica Martinez, deputy director of National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH). And many of these deaths – whether in the construction industry or another industry – are preventable, according to a new report from NCOSH.

Get Compensation and Money Damages for Workplace Injuries and Deaths

The Chicago construction accident attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC are dedicated to helping injured workers or the families of deceased workers obtain the compensation and benefits that they deserve. We put our vast experience handling workers’ compensation claims, personal injury lawsuits, and wrongful death lawsuits to work for you to get you maximum financial recovery possible.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a construction accident or other work-related accident, do not hesitate to contact us at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago work accident lawyers.