Construction work is big business in Texas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the occupation accounted for more than 800,000 jobs last year. But while work is available and often lucrative, it is also dangerous.
March for Safety
In 2012, Texas led the nation in construction worker deaths with 433, and that number rose to 527 in 2015. As a result of the deaths, The Workers Defense Project (WDF) hosted a memorial named The Day of the Fallen last March 1 at the state capitol in Austin in order to pay tribute to workers who died on the job and to help raise awareness of the need for more and stronger laws to protect construction workers. The tribute was held in conjunction with a statewide lobby day, in which members of WDP go to the office of each of the 150 state legislators, as well as the offices of the Governor and Lt. Governor, to lobby for worker protections.
Texas Workers Raise Their Voices
The WDP website states they are a Texas organization founded in 2002 to “achieve employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships.” Their main goal is to help improve working conditions of lower-wage workers. The construction industry, with its inherent danger, is one of their main focuses.
According to WDP, Texas has once more led the nation in construction worker deaths and accidents: every three days, a construction worker dies in Texas. The WDP and other advocacygroups believe that by enacting stronger laws, enforcing stricter penalties and implementing other safety measures, they may help keep Texas construction workers safe.
Construction work, by its nature, is necessarily dangerous work. With the combination of heavy machinery, extreme temperatures, heights and other variables, some accidents are unsurprising. However, massive amounts of research have gone into analyzing construction accidents and finding better ways to protect workers against known dangers.
Part of the dynamic in legislating more safety measures, however, is the cost to companies that employ the workers. Like WDP does for the workers, business organizations also lobby legislators in order to forward their own agendas. Many construction firm owners believe that more restrictions cost them money, make it harder to find workers, and are essentially ineffective.
Where Injuries Occur
It is not unreasonable to expect workers to have basic safety laws in place to minimize the dangers they face on a daily basis. In construction, the areas in need of enforcement are obvious: Statistics show most construction injuries occur on roofs, ladders, scaffolding, machinery, lifts, excavating machinery, surfacing machinery and cranes.
Help Those that Help Us
Even simply focusing on these areas could potentially save lives. Construction workers are a huge part in moving Texas forward; in return for their efforts, the state should make efforts to move them forward by increasing their safety on the job.
Guajardo & Marks of Dallas has more than 20 years of experience serving from offices in Dallas, Texas. We have the experience and resources required to effectively represent you and are proud to help our fellow Texans with the legal help they need. For answers to your questions or to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us at 972.774.9800.