Maryland Construction Injuries and Deaths Cost State Economy $712.8M Between 2008 and 2010

August 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Workplace injuries and deaths at construction sites cost Maryland nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars between 2008 and 2010, according to a recent report by the consumer watchdog Public Citizen, which concluded that the state would save substantial money if they emphasized the importance of worker safety, by restricting contracts to companies with strong safety records. 

According to the report, which is titled “The Price of Inaction: A Comprehensive Look at the Costs of Injuries and Fatalities in Maryland’s Construction Industry,” Maryland spent $712.8 billion over the three year period paying for workplace injuries and fatalities on construction jobs. That includes both direct and indirect costs, as well as quality of life costs.

Maryland Construction Injury DeathsPublic Citizen found that there were 18,600 construction industry accidents in Maryland during that time, which cost 11,000 work days. The report records 55 deaths during that same time period.

Currently, Maryland does not screen companies for their safety records before awarding contracts, although it does check that their previous projects meet performance standards. Public Citizen is urging the state to change that position to decrease the risk of construction injuries and deaths.

“It’s the right thing to do and would position Maryland as a leader in occupational safety and health,” said Keith Wrightson, of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, in a press release.

The report notes that Maryland has its own occupational safety department, Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH). Half of the states in the U.S. rely on their own occupational safety department, but the report states that Maryland’s is woefully underfunded. MOSH conducted safety inspections in less than 1% of the state’s workplaces in 2010, the report determined.


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