According to a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, fatalities in the construction industry are continuing a downward trend. In 2011, construction workplace deaths were down 6.8 percent, dropping from 774 in 2010 to 721 in 2011. The industry's fatality rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) was also down from 9.8 in 2010 to 8.9 in 2011.
The report says construction fatalities rates are down for the fifth consecutive year with fatal construction injuries down nearly 42 percent since 2006. The report says that "economic conditions may explain much of this decline." However, even with the number of fatalities declining, construction still accounted for the second most fatal work injuries of any industry sector in 2011.
Falls, slips or trips resulted in 666 worker deaths in 2011, about 14 percent of all fatal work injuries. Falls, slips and trips were the cause of 35 percent of workplace fatalities in the construction industry. Struck by accidents caused a total of 472 worker fatalities and made up 10 percent of construction industry deaths in 2011.
According to the report, 23 states reported higher numbers of fatal work injuries in 2011 while 25 states and the District of Columbia reported lower numbers. Two states reported the same number as in 2010.
What do you think of these numbers? Have you seen a decrease in construction workplace injuries and deaths in your area? Are you as a construction business manager actively pursuing safer worksites for your crews? Let us know what you've been doing to keep your employees safe.