Is a Construction Boom Coming?

We're focusing on construction safety and the construction industry's hazards quite a bit this year.

If the Bureau of Labor Statistics' long-term employment projections are correct, there will be 150,400 new construction laborer jobs filled in the United States between 2016 and 2026. That's a lot, it's the largest number of new jobs listed among the selected infrastructure-related occupations looked at in a recent BLS article. Other occupations near the top are carpenters, plumbers, and electricians.

The fastest-growing infrastructure-related occupations in this analysis were solar photovoltaic installers (projected growth of 104.9 percent) and wind turbine service technicians (96.3 percent). For those two, strong growth doesn't represent very many jobs—growing by 96.3 percent by 2026 for wind turbine service technicians represents only 5,600 new jobs, according to the article.

The new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives may decide to make an infrastructure bill a top priority this year, and there are signs at this writing that the Republicans in Congress and President Donald J. Trump may support it. If it is passed and the projected growth in construction jobs is realized, the annual safety campaigns aiming to stop construction falls take on more urgency and the leadership and passion of industry safety professionals will be more vital than ever.

Remember, there were 5,190 workplace fatalities in the USA during 2016—about 100 a week, on average—and 991 of them were construction workers. The "fatal four" hazards were responsible for 63.7 percent of those construction deaths, BLS reported:

  • Falls—394 deaths (38.7 percent)
  • Struck by object—93 deaths (9.4 percent)
  • Electrocutions—82 deaths (8.3 percent)
  • Caught in/between—72 deaths (7.3 percent)

We're focusing on construction safety and the construction industry's hazards quite a bit this year. From two construction articles in this issue to electrical safety and fall protection webinars during January and February, to an OH&S Summit event in Dallas on construction safety in April 2019, we'll be showcasing safety experts who can help your workforce and so many new workers stay safe on the job.

Reference
https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-7/the-employment-outlook-for-occupations-tasked-with-building-americas-infrastructure.htm

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Incident investigation guide

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - July August 2020

    July August 2020

    Featuring:

    • CONFINED SPACES
      Addressing Confined Spaces and Heat Stress Concerns
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Why Daily Wear FR Garments Make Sense No Matter the Season
    • HAND PROTECTION
      The Magic of New Technology
    • CHEMICAL SAFETY
      Why Effective Chemical Safety Training is More Important Than Ever
    View This Issue