Is construction work dangerous? We’re not going to sugar-coat it: working on a construction site is inherently high-risk. Heights, heavy machinery, noise, strenuous physical requirements, and environmental hazards all pose risks to health and safety that aren’t present in many other jobs.
But what is unique about the construction industry, is their unrivaled commitment to the health and safety of workers. Employers and labor are on the same page when it comes to keeping workers safe. Today, construction workers must attend regular safety training, wear the proper safety gear, use countless safety checklists, and work with safety procedures that are built into machinery and systems.
In addition, not only is safety a high priority for construction employers for a myriad of reasons, it’s demanded and regulated. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, governs the entire scope of workplace safety, and has created strict rules and regulations to keep construction workers safe. Regular inspections are required of job sites, stringent requirements are set for equipment upkeep, and safety training and certifications are mandatory.
What’s more, employers are highly incentivized to provide as safe of a working environment as possible for workers. When employers and workers commit to safety together, there are real, tangible benefits for both parties, including: higher morale, productivity, and quality of work; better retention of workers and recruitment of highly skilled labor; a strong reputation in the industry; and lower costs.
The building trades are committed to high-quality, thorough training to keep workers out of harm's way. When construction workers are well educated on workplace rules and safety best practices and know how to avoid dangerous situations and respond to them, injuries and illnesses are significantly reduced. Apprenticeships devote substantial time to teaching good safety protocols, especially during the first year, and safety is a constant theme throughout all years of all programs. In fact, during the late 19th century, tradesmen actually demanded apprenticeships as a way to make the industry safer. Today, in the 21st century, the trades’ commitment has not waned; if anything, it has gotten stronger.
So yes, construction work may be dangerous, but what other industries can you think of that give this much care, thought, and attention to the health and welfare of their workers? Not many! And while work in the building trades may be higher-risk in some respects, when you factor in the safety training and safety practices that are required on job sites, construction becomes decidedly less dangerous. And when you combine safety with some of the highest job satisfaction ratings of any industry, you get amazing and fulfilling career opportunities.
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