Rising rate of fatal construction injuries worries industry professionals

2021 could be a great year for construction. The prospect of a large infrastructure bill and the continuation of construction as essential work sets the pace for tradesmen and tradeswomen to continue working.

Tom Germuska Jr., editor of The Labor Citizen joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss his expectations for 2021 and the alarming rise in construction worker fatalities.

Georgia runoff

As many AWF Union Podcast guests have said, the Georgia runoff election is very important to organized labor. Germuska said if the Democratic candidates win, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will lose his power to block legislation.

Germuska said unions have already gained a seat at the table without having to win the Georgia races. The Biden transition team is stacked with union leaders from all sectors, including construction, education, health care and more.

Construction fatalities climb

For the first time since 2007, fatal injuries on construction sites rose in 2019. This alarms Germuska, as the numbers had been trending downward for many years.

He listed a few reasons for the increase in fatal accidents, including the lack of resources provided to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in recent years.

Looking into 2021

Germuska discussed what he believes the construction industry will look like in 2021. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still around, construction has been deemed an essential business. Infrastructure under the Biden administration is desperately needed, from road work to providing internet access to Americans, the entire U.S. infrastructure needs work.


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