Safety in any industry or segment of life should always be a priority and be something that is able to be improved as technology and communication advance. Unfortunately, when it comes to protecting the lives of construction workers in California, it seems that job sites may be getting less safe instead of safer.
According to NBC News, 2017 was a particularly deadly year on construction job sites across the United States. That year saw the most number of workplace fatalities ever recorded across all industries. Falls were attributed to 17% of the deaths across all segments. In the construction industry, however, falls were found to be involved in four out of every 10 deaths that year.
For construction companies with less than 10 employees, the picture of safety gets even worse. The Center for Construction Research and Training indicates that these firms accounted for only one in three construction companies between 2011 and 2015 yet these same companies were involved in 60% of all fall deaths during those five years. Fall deaths in the residential construction sector, especially among workers employed by small companies, were even higher than in the commercial construction sector.
Some believe that the post-recession recovery boom may be in part to blame for this trend. More construction workers have been needed quickly leading some firms to hire people with limited experience. These companies may also not be providing adequate training or instruction on safety protocol. As such, more and more construction workers find themselves facing potentially fatal situations every day, leaving their families left to pick up the pieces.