“Too many families and friends lost loved ones last year,” said Mike D’Aquino, of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Atlanta office. “Someone they knew went to work and did not return home at the end of the day.”
Construction and manufacturing were responsible for 12 deaths each, followed by four from agriculture and landscaping, and two from maritime jobs.
The most common cause of death was a worker being struck by an object or vehicle. Falls were second, followed by the categories “caught in” – electrocution, burns, chemical exposure.
The Georgia branch of the Association of General Contractors has worked to shrink that number, which had improved as a result of reduced economic activity in recent years, according to Cherri Watson, the association’s director of safety and workforce development.
The organization annually holds more than 100 classroom safety courses and 300 worksite classes.
The training reminds workers to strap on safety cables and to catch them if they fall, but it can help only so much for highway contractors, she said.
“Motorists are just not slowing down,” she said. “We don’t think that’s the workers. We just need the public to slow down.”