Construction, an occupation that once used to be among the most dangerous in the world, has steadily gotten safer over the course of the 20th century.
“Between 1940 and 2023, the occupational death rate in construction declined from 150-200 per 100,000 workers to 13-15 per 100,000 workers, or more than 90 percent,” writes Brian Potter of Construction Physics.
Many things contributed to a safer working environment for construction workers in the United States. The passage of workers’ compensation laws – which allow workers to be compensated in the event of an injury but increase costs to employers – was one such way that the government encouraged better overall conditions and equipment. Additionally, various governmental agencies were created to enforce greater safety standards and advise companies on how to reduce workplace hazards.