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Latest statistics show increase in fatal construction accidents

Construction work can be dangerous in San Diego and throughout the country. While these are vital jobs for Californians, there is no denying the inherent risk involved in working with heavy tools, being stationed at significant heights, trusting others to do their jobs diligently and avoid placing colleagues in jeopardy and much more. For construction workers and their families, understanding construction accident statistics and the risk of injuries and fatalities can provide a gauge of the level of risk they face.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its latest report for workplace injuries and fatalities. It found that there was a 4 percent increase in construction fatalities while on the job. However, the overall fatality rate stayed static. The numbers are for 2018.

In total, there were 1,008 deaths. In 2017, there were 971. For 100,000 full-time construction workers, there were 9.5 deaths. That stayed the same from 2017 to 2018. There was a reduction from 2015 and 2016 when it was 10.1 for every 100,000 workers.

Separating the fatalities into what sectors the construction workers were employed, there was an 18 percent rise in civil engineering fatalities from 152 to 180. For buildings construction, it rose by four from 196 to 200. Over 600 specialty trade contractors died. This was one fewer than the prior year.

There were some positives in the report. The number of workers who died in slips, trips and falls reduced when counting all industries. There were 791 such deaths in 2018 -- an 11 percent decline. In 2017, there were 887 such deaths.

The bulk of the reduction came from lowering the number of workers who died when falling to a lower level. That decreased by 14 percent to 615. This is the fewest number of these types of accidents since 2013. It is believed that greater oversight is a major factor in the improvement.

Despite certain positives, it is undeniable that a construction worker will face the prospect of injury and death simply by doing the job. A construction worker accident can lead to major medical expenses, lost wages and other challenges. When there is a fatal construction accident, the family left behind will need to find ways to move on after the loss of a loved one.

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