Philadelphia residents may be dismayed by a newly released AFL-CIO report on workplace injuries and fatalities. The report was released around the same time as Workers’ Memorial Day, an international event honoring those killed due to workplace injuries.
The report showed that overall, workplace fatalities rose in 2010. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2010, 4,690 workers were killed on the job, an increase from 4,551 in 2009. This represents an average of 13 people killed each day because of workplace accidents. Even worse, there is evidence these numbers could actually be low. Injury reporting systems face limitations, and not all workplace injuries are reported.
Although some progress has been made through attempts to make workplaces safer, a large number of workplaces are still plagued by poorly controlled hazards and inadequately enforced regulations.
One are of the workforce actually saw a drop in their numbers. Construction accident deaths dropped in 2010, but the reason is not likely due to an improvement in overall safety.
Construction Sector’s Numbers Deceptive
The construction sector experienced 774 fatal workplace injuries in 2010. While this represented the highest number by industry, it was actually a decline in numbers, since there were 834 fatalities in 2009. The construction industry was the only workforce to see a decrease from 2009 to 2010.
Although this appears to be encouraging news, the drop in construction site accidents is actually attributed to the poor economy rather than any improvement in safety measures. There were less people working in 2010, which meant less workplace injuries.
There is concern that the improved economy in 2011 will bring more workers to the construction industry and this will cause construction accident injuries and fatalities to rise once again. It is also discouraging that there has been no significant improvement in the numbers of workplace injuries and deaths in many years.
Going Back to Work at a Construction Site?
Construction sites contain a large number of safety hazards. A simple fall can often result in extensive and long-term injuries. This is why it is important to have a competent legal advocate to assist with establishing any potential negligence issues. A trusted legal advisor can also provide help with collecting compensation for any related medical costs and emotional problems that are often experienced after a serious accident.
Sources: ehstoday.com, “Death on the Job: 13 Occupational Fatalities Occurred Daily in 2010,” Laura Walter, 2 May 2012 and iwatchnews.org, “Fatal Work Injuries Rose in 2010, New Data Show,” Jim Morris, 25 April 2012