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More West Virginia construction jobs means more dangers

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 940 construction workers across the country died in a work-related accident during 2015, which averages at around 18 workers each week. There are several reasons for this high number of fatalities.

One is that because there are not enough trained construction workers to fill the increasing amount of jobs available, many construction companies hire inexperienced workers. Companies give them brief training and rely on other employees to be with them while they work train them, which is known as the buddy system. This is not a perfect solution.

While construction work safety has improved since the 1960s, serious risks still exist. In fact, in 2015, more than a fifth of all fatal workplace fatalities involved construction workers. This makes this occupation the most dangerous of all industrial-related occupations and nearly three times worse than the manufacturing industry.

While safety has improved in the construction industry, more work needs to be done, especially because the construction industry is experiencing its highest level of employment since 2008, said a representative of the Associated General Contractors of America. According to AGC's findings, about three out of four construction companies said that in 2017, they have plans to increase their workforce and wages.

Employers are responsible to make safety and training a priority at the workplace. Even with all protocols in place, however, some construction site accidents are unavoidable. People who are injured in one may want to have legal assistance in seeking their rightful workers' compensation benefits.

Source: Safety and Health, "As construction work increases, so do dangers", Tom Musick, March 23, 2017

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