From high-value office buildings to residential construction to the FasTracks light rail project, all types of construction are booming in Denver.
Overall, construction is up 50 percent from last year. The growth has led to a labor shortage, with Colorado’s unemployment rate in the construction industry the second lowest in the nation.
But construction work remains dangerous work, both in Colorado and across the country.
A vivid reminder of the danger of fatal construction accident came last week in the annual memorial service in New York City for construction workers killed on the job. In this post, we will take note of that memorial, as well as recent efforts by safety regulators in the Denver area to protect the safety of construction workers.
The service was held last week in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was filled with workers wearing hardhats. A bell tolled for each of the 16 workers who died on construction sites in the last year.
The Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York began celebrating an annual mass in 2008 for construction workers who lost their lives on the job. It is held around the time of Workers’ Memorial Day, the national day of recognition for people who died at work.
2008 was the year that crane collapse in New York City took seven lives. Since then, the total of construction workers who have been killed on the job in New York City has risen to 140.
Injuries and oversight
Not surprisingly, the number of injuries and deaths in the construction industry is often related to the overall level of construction activity.
With more projects going and cranes in the air, the more dangers potentially arise. That is what makes the oversight role played by safety regulators vitally important.
In the Denver area, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) took action last month to issue fines against a Denver-based roofing company for exposing workers to unreasonable hazards.
The safety violations included failure to properly train workers on avoiding falls and protecting themselves on scaffolds. There were also violations involving forklifts, ladders and other issues. OSHA inspectors warned the company of the dangers, but the company ignored the warnings.
Nationally, in 2014, 35 roofers lost their lives on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Your experience with on-the-job dangers
Of course, it isn’t only roofers who are at risk of on-the-job injuries or even death. Carpenters, forklift operators, plumbers, electricians and others who work on construction sites are as well.
If you get hurt, or a family member is killed, a knowledgeable attorney can help you pursue proper compensation.