Baehman Law

State safety report shows the danger construction workers face

A new report from the Minnesota area's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that the construction industry is still incredibly dangerous to workers -- despite all the safety regulations that are supposed to be in force.

The report indicates that there have been 34 deaths due to workplace accidents in the year prior to Sept. 30, 2019. A total of 38% of those deaths were in the construction industry.

While workers who routinely work with hazardous materials, heavy equipment and electricity might expect their jobs to be particularly hazardous, the study indicates that no area of the construction industry is immune from fatalities. For example, three people died while simply doing landscaping. Two victims suffered heatstroke or heat-related injuries and one was hit by a falling tree.

Experts say those deaths are significant because most people don't think of landscaping as a particularly hazardous profession. That may cause some workers (and employers) to be somewhat lax about safety precautions.

It's also significant to note that from 2014 to 2018, construction deaths only accounted for 28% of all workplace fatalities -- indicating that there has been a significant jump in problems over the last year alone. Just in the last two months of the study, a total of six workers were killed -- two of them in construction. One landscaper fell from a roof and another worker was killed when a vertical lift fell over while in use.

No matter what your profession, you have a right to expect a safe workplace. Your employer is also expected to enforce safety rules and make sure that operations are being handled without excessive danger to the workers. If you were injured on the job, find out more about your right to workers' compensation payments and more.

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