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A matter of life or death

Construction is dangerous work, accounting for more U.S. deaths than any other industry. Nearly 800 construction workers died from occupational injuries in 2013. A majority of these deaths were attributable the “fatal four” causes of work-related construction fatalities:electrocution; falls, being struck by equipment or flying objects; and becoming trapped by cave-ins or between pieces of equipment.

The risk of construction-related injuries and fatalities is greater when contractors fail to follow safety rules and industry best practices. For example, when contractors fail to properly lock out and tag electrical boxes, they increase the risk of electrocution. When contractors fail to secure escalator shafts and holes in second-floor walls, and when they fail to implement proper fall protections for working on ladders, they increase the risk of falls and the risk that those below will be struck by falling objects.

Finally, when contractors fail to secure active construction sites, they expose the public to the same hazards that kill hundreds of construction workers every year. And they increase the risk to their own workers who could be endangered by the actions of an adult or child who wanders into a construction site unawares.

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