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The recent death of a worker at a construction site in Rochester once again reflects the dangers within the construction industry. Every day, workers such as roofers along with foundation, building, utilities and heavy equipment contractors face on-the-job hazards that the average person could not fathom.

A 45-year-old Pennsylvania man died on Oct. 15 near a building that was under construction in Rochester. The man worked as a heavy equipment operator and was either crushed by the construction vehicle or by a piece of building equipment. And like all such workplace fatalities, Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is overseeing the investigation into the man’s death.

Eighty workers died in NY in 2018

Statistics provided by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) confirm that the construction industry remains a dangerous place for workers. In the most recent numbers available, 80 construction workers died in the state in 2018. That number represented a 10% decrease in construction deaths, compared with the 89 fatalities reported in 2017. Of the fatalities reported in 2018, a total of 58 construction workers died in New York state, while 22 died in incidents in New York City.

According to OSHA, here are the top four causes of construction-related fatalities:

  • Falls: A common hazard among construction workers who may fall from roofs and scaffolding.
  • Struck by objects: The recent death in Rochester is such an incident. Workers must safely position themselves from moving vehicles and equipment.
  • Caught-in/Between: Such incidents occur when a trench may collapse upon a worker.
  • Electrocutions: Electrical hazards such as overhead power lines can lead to deaths of construction workers.

Many construction accidents occur due to constant violations by employers and construction companies. Protecting workers should remain their priority.

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