With Florida’s increasing population and growing economy comes a boom in construction.
According to Dept of Labor stats, 101 fatalities in the state were reported in 2018, up from 78 in 2017 and 2016, 68 in 2015 and 63 in 2014.
In 2011 the DOL reported 42 construction fatalities in the state. That means that in just seven years, the fatality rate shot up by 140 percent.
In West Palm Beach last week, a worker narrowly escaped death when a form into which concrete was to be poured on the 13th floor fell onto him at One West Palm, the 30-story, two-tower project rising at 550 Quadrille Blvd.
Falls, slips, and trips are common in these accidents. 40 were reported, including 38 falls to a lower level, with nine falls through a surface or opening.
According to the Palm Beach Post, other accidents include:
- 23 transportation incidents, with nine of them involving pedestrians and the rest, just vehicles;
- 20 cases of exposure to harmful substances or environment, including 13 by exposure to electricity; and
- 13 workers died from “contact with objects or equipment,” including five struck by a falling object or equipment.
West Palm Beach alone has more than $2 billion worth of construction projects in the pipeline.
According to OSHA’s website, nearly 6.5 million people work at 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day. The death rate for accidents in construction is higher than the national average for industries overall, the site says.
Common perils include falls from heights, trench or scaffold collapses and electric shock.