More construction workers die on the job than workers in any other field, reported Jeffress. Only six percent of Americans work in construction, but nearly 20 percent of American workers who lost their lives in the workplace last year died on construction sites.
More than 1,200 construction workers were killed in 1998. While occupational deaths have been declining in most other industries, deaths on construction sites have been increasing — by 25 percent over the past seven years.
Jeffress said smaller employers tend to have significantly higher rates. "We need larger employers to help focus on small subcontractors and insist that they, too, pay special attention to safety," he said.