Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Ridgeland · Jackson Throughout Mississippi

Skilled Construction Worker Shortage Increases Safety Risks

Mississippi workers' compensationConstruction is dangerous work. There’s a lot to keep track at a work site. As a result, leaders in the commercial construction industry are becoming increasingly concerned that a shortage of skilled and experienced workers is creating a safety risk. This is according to a quarterly survey conducted by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

What Industry Leaders are Concerned About

More than half of those surveyed reported that workers with insufficient skills are increasing safety risks, and 62 percent say those workers will increase safety risks in the next three years. 

Roughly 88 percent of the also said they are at least “moderately concerned” about the shortage’s effect on safety, with 26 percent expressing “high or very high concern.” 

Contractors are being forced to do more with less, putting strain on their ability to get work done efficiently while maintaining safety standards and avoiding accidents. USG President and CEO Jennifer Scanlon said in a press release that the “commercial construction industry is growing, but the labor shortage remains unresolved.”  

She also stresses the importance of building “strong and comprehensive safety programs” to maintain the “strength and health of the industry.”   

Other findings:

  • 49 percent said shorter construction schedules are affecting safety. 47 percent said this will continue to be an issue for the next three years.  
  • The opioid crisis continues to be a concern for contractors. 71 percent of them said they are at least “moderately concerned” about the effects of opioid use on workplace safety. 39 percent expressed “high or very high concern.” 
  • Alcohol also remains a concern, with 58 percent said they are at least “moderately concerned” about the effects of alcohol use on workplace safety. With more states legalizing marijuana, 54 percent said the same about marijuana use. 
  • About two-thirds (67 percent) assert that safety training at all levels would have the most significant effect on improving safety culture, followed by ensuring accountability for safety at all levels, at 53 percent. 

There are potential hazards all around a construction site. Heavy equipment and power tools are in use. Workers do their jobs high above the ground. Steel beams, bricks and concrete are in motion. Construction vehicles come and go. And accidents happen. When they do happen, you deserve to have your rights upheld. Contact our office today to learn how we can help you.

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