The number of construction fatalities declined by nearly 10 percent between 2009 and 2010 and by almost 40 percent during the past five years, according to an analysis of new federal data prepared by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials pointed to an industry-wide commitment to improving workplace safety as a key reason for the safety improvements.
The number of construction fatalities in 2010 was 751, down from 834 in 2009 and 1,239 in 2006, according to a written release.
The construction industry has taken a range of steps to improve workplace safety during the past two decades, according to AGC. Safety planning is considered an essential part of all pre-construction plans. Construction workers also undergo rigorous and ongoing safety training both at construction sites and within company training rooms. Many firms also now regularly participate in association-led safety stand-downs, stopping all construction activity during a particular day to hold intense safety training and drills.
The association has also worked to establish a host of safety programs and materials from which construction firms are benefitting. The work the association has done to train construction workers in fall protection measures in helping cut fall fatalities from 447 in 2007 to 260 in 2010, a 42 percent decline. He added that the association offers a wide range of safety training programs and tools to construction firms across the industry.
Sandherr noted that the association remained committed to working with federal, state and local officials to continue improving workplace safety. “Nobody has a monopoly on improving workplace safety.”