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$700 million paid out in Maryland for construction injuries

According to nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, between 2008 and 2010, construction injuries and deaths cost the state more than $700 million. In a report, the group suggests that by awarding construction contracts to companies with stronger safety records, the amount paid out and the number of injuries sustained can be decreased. At this time, Maryland does have a screening process for contractors (on past performance, for example) but there is no process in which the past health and safety records are reviewed.

There is not currently a prequalification process for these contracts in regards to health and safety in any state. This is likely resulting in large payouts by other state governments, just as in Maryland. Until construction companies are prescreened for these qualifications, and thus rewarded for their adherence to safety protocol and the best interests of their employees, these types of payouts are likely to continue. With such a large payout, that can mean only one thing -- many injuries and fatalities.

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous job sectors in the U.S., ranking second in 2010 in workplace deaths. Though Maryland had the eighth fewest worker fatalities in the U.S. for 2010, the state is paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to families of those killed and injured workers.

Workers in the construction industry are working in a potentially dangerous environment throughout most of their day. However with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requirements, they ought to be as safe as possible, and the contractors must be responsible for the health and safety of the work environment. There are many injuries that can occur on construction workplaces which cause long-term inability to work and provide for oneself and one's family, to say nothing of the potential for fatal injuries.

Source: Huffington Post, "Maryland Workplace Injuries Cost Hundreds of Millions, Report Says," Cole Stangler, Aug. 7, 2012

  • Our firm represents workers injured in construction accidents. Visit our Silver Spring work injury page for more information.

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