A little over a week ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their preliminary National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2011. On the good news front the rate of fatalities is still dropping, but there were still 4609 individuals who lost their lives. Whether you are a homeowner or a trade’s person, it is always good to remember that the work we do is dangerous & you do need to pay attention.
Breaking it down:
Of the 4609 fatalities, 721 were construction related which is a major improvement over prior years but still the second dangerous occupation overall. The BLS broke the events down into 6 main categories; self-inflected, & other injuries by person or animals (30) / transportation related (190) / fires & explosions (11) / falls, slips & trips (254) / exposure to harmful substances or environments (111) / contact with objects & equipment (123).
I don’t think it is a shocker that the falls category led the list with 254 though the breakdown might be a little surprising as the following chart from BLS shows.
As you can imagine roofers led the list with 57 which got them listed as the 5th most deadliest occupation (actual number is 76 total not 56 as shown).
Transportation related is slightly surprising with the bulk of those related to getting hit from other vehicles when hopping out of a vehicle or loading / unloading materials. I would have expected the contact one to actually be second which includes everything from hand saws to bobcats. Either which way the biggest thing to remember about both of these is that you need to pay attention to your surroundings. One can’t just assume that someone can see you or is paying attention – remember “Safety Third.”
Coming in 4th is exposure to harmful substances & environments. Amazingly siding contractors didn’t have any issues with falls, but almost all their fatalities were related to this item. This came in second for remodeling contractors & painters. There is a reason we have respirators, gloves, and other items – it is up to us to use them.
In closing, just remember that your safety is mainly up to you – an employer can give you all the needed tools but if you don’t use them it impacts not only you, but your family & all those that work with you. Along those lines, one needs to pay attention as all it takes is a second of inattention & Inever thought it could happen to me, ends up happening.