Four construction trades rank in top 10 most deadly jobs

Construction workers, specifically structural metal workers, have the fourth most deadly job in America, according to a recent list of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the country from the Bureau of Labor statistics. Approximately 58 per 100,000 structural metal workers died last year.

Sixth on the list of deadly occupations were roofers, who died at a rate of 37 per 100,000 in 2002. Deaths in both roofing and structural metal jobs most often involved accidental falls, which can be attributed to the dangerous heights of both occupations. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls account for one-third of all deaths in construction.

Electric power installers placed seventh on the list, with 32 deaths per 100,000 workers. Construction laborers ranked ninth, and were paid the least, an average of $13.36 an hour, of the “most deadly” construction trades.

Other construction occupations that didn’t fall in the top 10 list include trenching and excavation, which has a fatality rate 112 percent higher than the fatality rate for general construction, and heavy and highway construction. Traffic or work zone construction vehicles striking pedestrian workers was the most common cause of fatalities for in the road construction category.

The U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA are working to make the workplace safer for those in the construction industry by providing an eTool, which helps identify and control dangers that can cause serious injuries. The eTool is an interactive training tool that provides the construction industry with information that can help companies develop a safety and heath program. To link to OSHA’s construction eTool, click on the link to the right.