While nobody expects to get hurt when they leave the house and go to work, this is a reality for people who work certain jobs. One of the industries that is most impacted by workplace accidents is construction. Recently, a report was published showing that more than 5,000 people died at work in 2018 alone. This report has led people to pause because the government might be thinking about cutting funding to government oversight bodies that are responsible for making sure that construction companies follow appropriate regulations and do not place their employees in harm’s way unnecessarily.
In many cases, people at construction sites are asked to work hundreds of feet in the air. In the early 1900s, it was not unusual for people to work on beams suspended dozens of stories up in the air. These individuals might not have had any protection at all. They would literally straddle the beams as they sat and ate lunch. In many cases, hundreds of people would be killed working on a single building. This prompted the government to enact changes. Unfortunately, these changes have not prevented people from falling to their deaths even to this day. Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for monitoring these companies, making sure that all necessary rules and regulations are followed. Sometimes, it can be hard for everyone involved in a construction project to get on the same page. According to sgklawyers.com, “General contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, material men, delivery truck drivers, property owners, and other parties” need to work together to make sure everyone stays safe.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of the organizations responsible for tracking workplace injuries and fatalities. In 2017, close to 900 people were killed in falls related to work, many of these in construction. This number was a jump from 2016 which begs the question of why. Furthermore, the United States also has significantly more workplace fatalities than in other countries. For example, around 3.5 out of every 100,000 workers in the United States will die every year. In comparison, the rate of workplace deaths in the United Kingdom is around 1.0 out of every 100,000. The average rate in the EU is 1.5 out of every 100,000.
This shocking statistic has many people in the United States looking for answers. Nobody should be at risk when they go to work. The fall risk at construction jobs in the United States is simply too great. Something has to be done to protect these people.