A recently released report by the Associated General Contractors of America found that the construction industry here in Florida is thriving. Indeed, it revealed that Sunshine State added 27,500 jobs between March 2015 and March 2016, trailing only California.
While this is certainly fantastic news from an economic perspective as it means more people will be gainfully employed, it also means that more people will be exposed to the risk of construction-related injuries, particularly traumatic brain injuries.
If you don’t believe it, consider that the construction industry has traditionally had the highest rates of serious and fatal TBIs among all U.S. job sectors. Consider also a recently published report by researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health examining TBIs in the construction industry from 2003 to 2010.
Some of the more eye-opening findings of their study included:
- TBIs were responsible for 2,210 fatalities among construction workers, comprising 24 percent of all occupational TBI fatalities and 25 percent of all construction fatalities
- The leading cause of fatal TBIs in the construction industry was falls from things like scaffolding, roofs and ladders
- Construction workers employed by smaller outfits were 2.5 times more likely to suffer a fatal TBI than their counterparts in larger outfits
- Both older construction workers and foreign-born construction workers were found to be at a greater risk of suffering a fatal TBI
As grim as these statistics are, the NIOSH researchers, whose work is published in the latest edition of American Journal of Industrial Medicine, did find that the rate of fatal TBIs in the construction industry actually declined by as much as 6.2 percent over the course of the timeframe under study.
What all of this really serves to underscore is that construction firms must do everything in their power to keep workers safe from providing the right equipment to the necessary training. Furthermore, it demonstrates how those who have suffered a TBI or lost a loved one due to a worksite accident should consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about their rights and their options.