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Occupational fatalities in the U.S. highway construction industry, 1992-1997.

Pratt SG
NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :15-16
Highway construction workers (Standard Industrial Classification [SIC] 1611) risk injury from varied exposures: traffic vehicles, construction equipment, electric current, falls, and collapsing materials. Data from Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries research files for 1992-1997 were used to characterize these fatalities by event, source, employer class, and person type. Of the 708 fatalities during 1992-1997, construction laborers (252, 35.6%) and truck drivers (91, 12.9%) together accounted for nearly half. Five hundred (70.6%) worked for private contractors, 110 (15.5%) for local government, and 98 (13.8%) for state government. Major injury sources were trucks (285, 40.3%), construction machines (127, 17.9%), and cars (84, 11.9%). Three distinct event types were identified: contractor vehicle events inside work areas (288, 40.7%); traffic vehicles entering work areas (159, 22.5%); and other traffic crashes, without mention of a work area (135, 19.1%). The remainder were other events, including electrocutions, falls, and trench collapses (126, 17.8%). Trucks contributed substantially to traffic vehicle events inside work areas (46.5%), other traffic crashes (68.2%), and contractor vehicle events (41.0%). Traffic vehicles entering work areas were 45.0% of state government fatalities, compared with 20.6% for private contractors and 10.9% for local government. Data were analyzed by person type for 582 fatalities with a vehicle or machine as the injury source; 57.0% were workers on foot, 35.1% were operators, and 7.9% were passengers. Workers on foot were involved in high proportions of traffic vehicle events inside work areas (93.1%) and contractor vehicle events (60.1%). Among other traffic crashes, operator fatalities predominated (77.8%). This research identified fatality types within SIC 1611 and differences by injury source, employer class, and person type. Emphasis on risks from traffic vehicles entering the work area and contractor vehicles should continue; however, other traffic crashes and non-vehicular events (37% of fatalities) should also be addressed by employer safety programs.
Accident rates; Accident statistics; Accidents; Accident prevention; Injuries; Traumatic injuries; Injury prevention; Surveillance programs; Statistical analysis; Epidemiology; Road construction; Road surfacing; Construction industry; Construction workers; Mortality data; Mortality rates; Mortality surveys; Construction equipment; Motor vehicles
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NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division