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Productivity vs. safety in the construction industry

Because more people die working in the construction industry than any other type of job, safety should be a number-one concern. However, a survey issued by the National Safety Council revealed that more than half of construction workers in Louisiana and throughout the nation believe that safety is not as important as finishing job tasks and productivity. The survey involved 2,000 part-time and full-time employees from 14 industries.

Of those who were involved in the survey, nearly half said that they fear reporting workplace safety issues, and more than half confessed that when it comes to keeping employees safe, their managers do only what is required by law. However, 36 percent of those surveyed said that their employers emphasize productivity over safety.

The study also found that about a third of construction workers surveyed said that when determining promotions, management does not consider the employee's safety performance, and more than two-thirds say their workstations or areas are not ergonomically correct. The report further noted that in 2015, of the 4,836 individuals who died in an occupation incident, 937 of them were construction workers. The second top cause of workplace fatalities is falling, and each year more than half of fall-related workplace fatalities happen to construction workers.

According to the NSC's president and CEO, the survey results show that many employees in the construction industry remain concerned about their safety. She urged employers in the construction industry to consider renewing their commitment to ensuring their employees stay safe at every worksite, every day.

Employees who suffer an on-the-job injury may file for workers' compensation benefits. However, if they believe that their injuries happened because of the gross negligence of their employer, they might want to speak with a lawyer about pursuing additional damages via a personal injury claim.

Source: EHS Today, "58 Percent of Construction Workers Say Safety Takes a Backseat to Productivity", Sandy Smith, May 18, 2017

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