In 2010, more than $9.3 billion dollars of business in Alabama was generated by commercial construction companies and the industries that feed construction. The commercial construction industry provided 150,000 full time jobs for Alabamians during that year. While the construction industry experienced a slow-down after the 2008 collapse of the housing market, things are looking up again in Alabama, with a surge in the Consumer Confidence Index reflecting an expected increase in sales, profit margins and staffing levels in the field of construction.
Our Montgomery construction accident lawyers know that the thriving construction industry is good news for job-seekers. Unfortunately, more people working construction does have one downside: the risk of construction injuries is once again on the rise.
Thriving Construction Industry Means More Risk of Accidents
Recently, Alabama.com published an opinion piece asserting that the “Construction industry is at the heart of Alabama’s economic recovery.” This article underscored just how important the construction industry is within the state of Alabama. The author pointed out:
- More than $10 billion in commercial construction investments are made annually in the state.
- Local money is increasingly being invested in construction projects thanks to the economic recovery and the rise in consumer confidence.
- An estimated $400 million in sales, income and utility taxes are generated by the commercial construction industry in the state of Alabama.
- Alabama’s construction industry tops competing states in training, growth and development. Training efforts have been adopted by Alabama legislatures in recent years.
The data clearly shows that construction in Alabama is increasingly becoming a top source of jobs as the industry picks up. Other data also shows, however, that an increase in construction work has a very real impact on health and safety.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, indicated that workplace deaths in construction rose between 2011 and 2012 for the first time since 2006. There was a five percent increase during this year, following five straight years of decline. The total number of fatalities within the industry went down by 37 percent since 2006.
The BLS summary of fatal workplace injuriesshows that the increase in construction deaths occurred at a time when the overall number of workplace deaths was near record lows. While there were just 4,383 deaths across all jobs in 2012 — the second lowest number since the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries was first conducted in 1992 — the number of fatal work injuries went up five percent between 2011 and 2012. Fatalities in the construction industry accounted for 775 of the 4,383 deaths in 2012 while there were just 738 construction-worker deaths in 2011.
The BLS showed that the total work hours within the private construction industry also increased during this time, by one percent. This increase likely contributed to more people dying or getting hurt. With more workers on the job, this is a natural phenomenon and, unfortunately, the increase in construction work industry deaths is likely to continue to rise in Alabama as more investment is made in performing construction work.
An increased legislative focus on training, however, could help to reduce this effect, as could a commitment from employers to ensure construction workplaces remain safe.
If you have been hurt in an accident, contact Allred & Allred P.C. for advice about your rights. Call for a free consultation at 334.396.9200.
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