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AGC's construction industry accident findings

Workers on Louisiana construction sites may find of interest the construction safety report by the Associated General Contractors of America that was released on April 4. The comprehensive study outlines construction-related accidents and fatalities and may help construction industry owners and supervisors improve workplace safety.

The top cause for construction-related deaths is from slips, trips and falls. The fatality rate steadily increases in construction workers when they turn 35 and peaks at the age of 65 and older. Perhaps this is because older workers are waning in physical and mental acuity in fulfilling their tasks, or they may sometimes take unsafe shortcuts.

The report also found that smaller construction companies where one to nine employees work had the highest rate of fatalities, which was at 26 per 100,000 employees annually, and accounted for nearly half of the total number of deaths. This could be due to the fact that many smaller companies hire inexperienced workers and do not have the strict drug testing protocols or safety programs of larger companies.

Further, there are more workplace deaths in Southern states. According to the findings, for every 100,000 people who worked in the construction industry in the Southern region of the country, 17 died. In the West, there were only 10 deaths per 100,000 employees, and in the Northeast, there were 13 fatalities per 100,000 employees. Lack of training, unionization and lower wages may be factors.

Construction work involves various high risks, such as collapsing trenches, malfunctioning machinery and being struck by trucks and equipment. Most injured construction workers have the right to file for workers' compensation benefits that can include the reimbursement of medical expenses.

Source: Equipment World,"Breaking down the AGC's construction safety report: Age, region, trade and even time of day are major factors", Tom Jackson, April 7, 2017

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