For a century our nation has relied on the workers' compensation system to provide for workers injured on the job while making sure that each employer picks up his or her fair share of the costs. In theory, the system assigns the cost of workplace injuries and illnesses to employers through comp insurance premiums.
No one disputes that smoking is the major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the difficulty breathing that strikes so many Americans in their twilight years. A new study by Duke University and CPWR researchers, however, reminds us that smoking is far from the only cause, and we still have a lot of work to do if we are going to protect construction workers.
For three years now, OSHA, NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training have cooperated to build a nationwide Campaign to Prevent Construction Falls.
One construction worker a day dies on a worksite from a fall. One a day. That’s what the national data consistently tells us, since one-third of all deaths on construction sites are from falls. Every year more than 10,000 construction workers in the private construction industry experience serious, even life-changing, injuries from a fall.