The construction industry remains a dangerous place to work in spite of efforts by state and local governments and companies. Different categories of employees, such as those who don’t speak English and contract employees, could face higher risks and even be short-changed on training. A discrepancy of adequate training between workers at larger firms and those at smaller companies may also be a safety factor according to recent reports.

A report covered by the National Center for Biotechnology Information identified vulnerabilities for construction workers that could affect job safety.  Young, non-native employees at small firms faced the highest likelihood of not being sufficiently trained. Some of the factors that could result in insufficient training for these workers included the following:

  • They were less likely to have a supervisor who spoke their language
  • They received less hours of initial training
  • They received fewer hours of monthly ongoing training
  • They were more likely to miss specific categories of training

Small firms consisted of these with fewer than 50 employees. The result of the findings indicated a need to address literacy issues on the job for immigrant workers in the construction industry.

Contract employees may also be vulnerable category of workers in the construction industry and other industrial environments. According to an article by CBS News, a nonprofit advocacy group for workers rights said that more than 800 contract employees died on the job in 2017. This is an increase of nearly 50% in the past six years. Contract employees are workers hired by staffing organizations and subcontractors. Six workers who died at Amazon plants in recent months were contract employees.