It’s a common sight for those who drive around the Twin Cities’ metro area at this time of year: construction workers hurrying on job sites to finish projects before winter descends in its icy fury on Minnesota. Understandably, little outside construction work gets done toward the very end of the year or in the first couple of months of a new year.
Year-round construction job dangers
Regardless of when the job gets done here or in warmer climes, the risk of work-related construction job injuries places construction among America’s most dangerous industries, as a recent study by business insurance service firm AdvisorSmith made clear.
The company recently studied the occupations in which workers are most likely to be injured on the job, and once again, the construction industry dominated the results.
AdvisorSmith analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics about occupations with a minimum of 50,000 workers in the U.S. The company says 263 such jobs, from which it pulled the 25 most dangerous jobs.
The riskiest job in America
While many might guess that the very riskiest jobs are held by police officers and firefighters, the statistically riskiest occupation in the U.S. is in logging – a job that’s 33 times more dangerous than the average American job.
We’re not going to delve into the hazards of logging, farming, flying or working on an oil rig, however. We’re focused in this post on the risks of being hurt or killed working in various construction jobs.
Five most dangerous jobs in construction
According to AdvisorSmith’s recent study, the following are the five most dangerous construction jobs and the average pay nationwide:
- Roofer: $42,100
Few will be surprised to find roofing at number 4 on the list of the 25 riskiest jobs. The fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers stands at 41. Two years ago, 96 roofers were killed on the job. The most common causes of roofer injuries and fatalities? Falls from roofs or from ladders.
- Ironworker: $53,650
Ironworkers are number 6 on the list, with a fatal injury rate per 100,000 of 29. In 2018, 15 ironworkers were killed on the job. Like roofers, they’re most commonly injured in falls.
- Crane operators: $60,530
The fatal injury rate in this line of work is 19 per 100,000 workers. Nine crane operators died at work in 2018.
- Construction helpers: $31,830
Construction helpers are the lowest paid in the riskiest construction jobs listed. At number 14, this entry-level job finished right behind crane operators on the list. Once again, falls were the most common cause of injuries and fatalities.
- Cement masons: $48,330
These concrete finishers placed at 17 on the list, with a fatal injury rate of 17 per 100,000 workers. As in all the construction jobs listed here but one (crane operators), the most common cause of on-the-job injuries and fatalities were falls.
We all owe thanks to the men and women of the Twin Cities who battle the elements and risk work-related injuries and even fatalities to help erect the buildings the rest of us work and live in.