- Fatalities in the private construction industry rose 6% — to 874 — between 2013 and 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.
- The preliminary numbers, which will later be updated by the BLS, found the number of construction workplace fatalities in 2014 was the highest since 2008.
- Construction fatalities accounted for 20.6% of total private industry fatalities in 2014, according to the BLS. In 2013, construction accounted for 20.2% of total private industry fatalities.
Across all U.S. industries, the BLS reported a preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries recorded in 2014 — a 2% rise from 2013.
The BLS noted that within the construction industry, the heavy and civil engineering sector recorded a series low of 138 workplace fatalities in 2014 — down from 165 in 2013.
Construction industry fatalities are dominated by the "Fatal Four": falls, being struck by objects, electrocution and being caught between moving vehicles or machinery.
There has been increased attention on safety issues within construction, as the ongoing labor shortage has raised concerns that the lack of qualified workers is changing the way firms operate and leaving workers in even more dangerous situations.