According to the federal Department of Labor, around 6 million people are employed in the construction industry. This population makes up about 4% of all workers across the nation, but surprisingly, construction workers suffer a disproportionate number of on-the-job fatalities than workers in all other fields. In 2012, around 4,100 American workers were killed in work-related accidents, and about 800 of those fatalities claimed construction workers' lives.
Residents of Burlington County are used to seeing orange barrels on the roads this time of year, as well as cranes, forklifts and scaffolding around construction sites. However, most people can appreciate that whether they are repaving a street or building a home, construction workers may be at risk.
Now that spring is here in Burlington County and summer is on its way, residents of the state can expect to see more orange barrels on the roads and the erection of new buildings and other construction projects. While maintaining our infrastructure systems and erecting office spaces, stores and housing are good for the public and the economy, it goes without saying that construction work is a dangerous job. In fact, certain construction accidents are so common that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have dubbed them the "Fatal Four."
Scaffolds are a common sight on many major construction projects in Burlington County. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 65 percent of construction workers often perform their job duties on scaffolds at great heights. So, it may not be surprising that scaffolding plays a role in many construction worker accidents. A fall from a scaffold can cause serious injuries. Therefore, OSHA has implemented regulations regarding scaffold safety.
As it may already be known to construction workers and their families, construction is a dangerous industry to work in. Just how dangerous? In 2009, of the 3.3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses reported in 2009 to the Center for Disease Control, more than nine percent were experienced by construction workers.