According to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America, employment in construction is higher than it has been since 2008, and almost three out of every four construction firms state that they plan to increase their workforce in 2017. Construction workers in New York and the rest of the country should be aware that as demand for construction work increases, so do the risks that the job presents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 937 construction workers were killed in 2015. The statistic represents the highest fatality figure of any industry sector. In fact, fatalities related to construction made up 21.4 percent of all worker fatalities in 2015.

Because of the increasingly high demand for construction workers, firms are finding it difficult to locate experienced personnel. This is why many have begun hiring inexperienced workers who are coming from other industries or who have just recently graduated from school. According to safety professionals, education and training are vital to ensuring that they are protected. Information from the BLS indicates that four hazards were responsible for 602 of the construction worker fatalities that occurred in 2015. The hazards include electrocution, falls, being struck by an object or being caught in or between objects.

According to one safety professional, in order to avoid injuries and save lives, more should be done. Outreach to trade contractors and subcontractors of small or medium sizes is necessary. Smaller contractors working for larger ones should use the safety resources the bigger company can provide.

Construction workers who are injured on the job often are unable to return to work for prolonged periods while their medical bills are piling up. They may want to have the assistance of a lawyer in filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits that can help ease some of the resulting financial stress.