North Carolina construction workers face a lot of potential fall risks. After all, employees in the construction industry often work in open areas and at heights, including on roofs, scaffolds and ladders. Since construction work can be dangerous even when federal safety regulations are followed, the risks are particularly high in workplaces that fail to live up to safety standards.
The number of U.S. construction deaths reached 1,000 in 2016, according to OSHA. Even more tragic is the fact that over 60 percent of these deaths could have been prevented with the right training and equipment. The following are just five of the most common construction site accidents that could occur in North Carolina or anywhere else.
Construction workers in North Carolina and around the country perform extremely dangerous tasks. Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reveals that the construction sector accounts for more than 20 percent of all private sector worker deaths despite employing only about 6 percent of the population. Deaths in the industry reached almost 1,000 in 2016 according to OSHA, and a great many of these workers died in accidents caused by five common construction site hazards.
Many safety regulations apply to construction sites in North Carolina because of the dangerous nature of the work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has calculated that 20 percent of workplace deaths happen at construction sites. The four major sources of injuries and fatalities are falls, electrocution, being hit by objects, and being caught in or between equipment or objects.
North Carolina's Department of Labor has released preliminary data about workplace fatalities for 2017. Struck-by incidents and falls, especially within the construction industry, represented the primary causes of worker deaths in the state. The department's Occupational Safety and Health Division plans to update its strategies in 2018 to improve safety in the most hazardous occupations. The division's director said that the agency would make an extra effort to focus safety compliance efforts on industries with multiple fatalities.
Every year in North Carolina and the rest of the U.S., workplace injuries and illnesses cost businesses an average of $250 billion. In response, many companies are adopting wearable technology for their employees. This can both reduce safety risks and leverage a great deal of insurance benefits.
North Carolina construction workers are undoubtedly aware of the safety hazards of their industry. One of the dangers is of struck-by incidents, which are accidents in which a worker is struck by an object, equipment or a vehicle. A report says that the construction industry has more struck-by deaths than any other industry in the United States and twice as much risk of struck-by accidents.
Late last week, a North Carolina construction worker died on-the-job after falling from a 30-foot ladder. The same thing will happen next month and, statistically, the month after that. And the month after that.
More than 20 percent of all workplace deaths that occur in the private sector are linked to the construction industry. Indeed, nearly 1,000 construction workers die on the job each year. In addition, there are tens of thousands of annual injuries, many of them permanently disabling.