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The age-old argument – Experience comes with age. Or does it?

Construction workers killed on the job in 2019 reached its highest level since 2007, according to a new report by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPRW.) According to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,102 construction worker fatalities in 2019 – a 41.1 percent increase from the first year of the study.

Of particular note is the age range in which fatalities were most accounted for: 45-64.

That specific group saw 241 deaths between 2016 and 2019, and workers 65-and-older had the highest rate of fatal injuries over the four-year timeframe, according to OSHA.

How can this be? Over the last decade, a number of new construction training and safety initiatives have been actively embraced by the industry. From OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down event (May 3-7) to Construction Safety Week (May 3-7,) the industry has ample resources to promote the benefits of safety and training within Construction. Yet the numbers tell a different story.

The top reasons for injuries at work in 2019 included:

  • Transportation incidents – 2,122 cases, the largest increase since the study started in 2011
  • Falls, slips and trips – an 11% increase in 2019
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments that led to the deaths of 642 workers in 2019, the highest figure since the study’s start in 2011

The often heard, “I don’t need training, I’ve been doing this for decades,” excuse never was, and still isn’t, valid.

Construction training can save lives – no matter what age you are or how much experience you have. Period.

The OSHA 10 Hour Construction Training Course is just one construction course that is intended for anyone working in construction, including entry level workers, safety managers, project supervisors and foremen, with basic OSHA health and safety regulations that affect construction workplaces. Students who take the OSHA course will learn how to recognize, prevent and address construction hazards and will finish the course with the skills and knowledge required to help avoid and protect themselves and others from work-related injuries.

For a deeper dive, the OSHA 30 Hour Construction Training Course is designed to give foremen, supervisors, superintendents, competent persons, safety staff, safety committee members and others expanded information about standards and safety associated with construction work.

Yes, construction training takes time and costs money. But accidents in construction cost significantly more than a 10-hour or 30-hour course. Since 2002, the total costs of fatal and non-fatal injuries were estimated at $11.5 billion – with an average cost amounting to $27,000 per injury.

By completing a construction course, workers are more likely to arrive home safe at the end of their shift. And the cost of that? Priceless. To research and book a construction course to suit your needs, visit Easybook Training.

Additional figures from the 2019 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary:

  • Fatalities in the private construction industry increased 5 percent to 1,061 – the largest total since 2007.
  • Falls and struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocution hazards – known as the Construction Focus Four as part of an OSHA safety initiative – resulted in 709 deaths in 2019, or 64.3 percent of all fatalities in the industry that year. Fatal falls to a lower level climbed to 401 in 2019 and accounted for 36.4 percent of all fatalities that year – a 25 percent leap from the previous year.
  • Injury, long-term damage, illnesses and mental health issues are some of the main negative outcomes that construction site managers or employers need to prevent.
Fatal occupational injuries by event

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics