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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has raised fines associated with certain construction-related violations for the first time since 1990. The 78 percent increase is good news for the men and women who risk their safety on a daily basis to help build and maintain the things that keep this country up and running.

Sadly, the increase comes on the heels of a 4 percent increase in deaths caused by construction related accidents. The fatality rate for the construction industry is at the highest it has been since 2008. Some of the more dangerous professions within the industry are plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, laborers, electricians and carpenters.

Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters had the largest death rate in this profession since 2003. Laborers had the highest death rate in that industry since 2008. Electricians and carpenters had the highest death rates in their respective areas since 2009.

All told, 927 construction workers died due to on-the-job issues in 2015. This is rather troubling when you consider than 520 companies have been added to the Severe Violators program from 2010 through mid-April of 2016. Of those 520, 60 percent were in the construction industry.

Construction workers deserve a safe workplace, but these numbers seem to show that safety is seriously lacking in the industry. For men and women who are injured in these accidents each year, seeking compensation is possible. This is done through workers' compensation claims. In some cases, such as when a defective product was to blame, a lawsuit against a third party might be another way to get the compensation necessary to get medical care and cover life expenses.

Source: Construction Dive, "BLS: Construction fatalities rose 4% in 2015," Emily Peiffer, Dec. 16, 2016

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