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Gig economy, other factors lead to rise in construction deaths

According to the investment management firm Conning, nearly half of 2017's workplace fatalities occurred in two industries: construction and transportation. Construction workers in Missouri should note that this trend is being caused by a number of factors, including a lack of healthy workers and a shortage of experienced workers.

The gig economy is considered the top issue, with more than 75 million Americans having no permanent employment but rather going from job to job. Gig workers are at a higher risk for injury than workers who have been with a company for years. With more immigrants entering the workforce, problems are also arising with communication.

Many workers, especially in the construction industry, are obese and thus more vulnerable. The CDC says 40% of American adults are obese; that's up 10% from 2000. In addition, companies are lowering their standards and hiring workers with drug and alcohol addictions. From 2013 to 2017, the rate of workplace overdoses has increased by 25%.

As for the transportation industry, it's experiencing a shortage of trained drivers. The qualified truckers must then drive longer and so deprive themselves of sleep as a result. One survey found that more than a third of truckers nod off or fall asleep behind the wheel. This puts truckers and, more frequently, others at risk.

An employee who has been injured on the job may want to file a workers' compensation claim. While an injured employee can file for workers' comp regardless of who may be at fault, the employer retains the right to deny payment. This is why a victim thinking of filing for workers' comp may want to see a lawyer. If necessary, legal counsel could help mount an appeal.

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