Study: Construction jobs remain among the most dangerous

While walking around downtown Sacramento, many people like to stop and gaze awhile at construction sites, watching workers erecting hotels, housing, office buildings and more. People watch construction activity just as they watch auto racing and high-wire circus acts: there’s always a possibility that something will go wrong.

Common construction injury causes

In the case of construction workers, they are in danger of sustaining serious work-related injuries in a variety of ways, including falls, being struck by heavy construction machinery, being hit by falling building materials or debris, being caught in collapsing trenches or buildings, and much more.

A recent study of the 25 most dangerous occupations by business insurer AdvisorSmith found that six of those jobs are in the construction industry.

Crunching the numbers

AdvisorSmith crunched Bureau of Labor Statistics of Fatal Occupational Injuries, focusing on professions that employ 50,000 workers or more. The company then analyzed the data for the 263 qualifying professions, arriving at the 25 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

According to the study, the riskiest job of all is logging, which is “33 times more dangerous than the average job nationwide.”

It was also noted that pay in many of the most dangerous jobs was below the average mean wage of $53,490 in 2019. It was also interesting that the business insurer conducting the study pointed out that workers’ compensation insurance premiums are higher than average in the 25 riskiest occupations.

Five most dangerous construction jobs

Let’s take a look at the five construction jobs deemed most dangerous in the recent study:

  • Roofers
    Fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers: 41

The men and women who install, repair and replace roofs put their health on the line every time they go to work. In 2018 (the most recent year for which complete data is available), 96 of them died in on-the-job accidents, making this occupation the fourth most dangerous in the U.S.

The most common cause of injuries and fatalities among roofers are falls, often as a result of slips or trips.

  • Ironworkers
    Fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers: 29

Like roofers, the most common cause of injuries to ironworkers (the sixth most dangerous occupation) are falls. Fifteen structural iron and steel workers were killed on jobsites in 2018.

  • Crane operators
    Fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers: 19

The most common causes of fatal injuries: transportation accidents and contact with objects and equipment.

  • Construction helpers
    Fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers: 18

The cause of deadly incidents involving construction helpers is familiar: falls.

  • Cement masons
    Fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers: 17

Skilled cement masons finish and smooth poured concrete. Once again, falls are the most cause of fatalities in this occupation.

Appreciation and more

Construction workers are helping to build a better Sacramento. They deserve not only our appreciation for important work done at considerable risk, but full and fair California workers’ compensation benefits whenever they sustain a work-related injury.