Ironwork is among top 10 most dangerous jobs in U.S.
- By Sue Scheible, GATEHOUSE NEWS SERVICE
Ironwork ranks among the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2005, iron and steel work was named the fourth most dangerous job, with 47 deaths for every 100,000 workers. Roofing was seventh, with 35 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Since 1925, Local 7, the ironworkers union representing Greater Boston, has averaged one death a year.
That is 83 deaths in 83 years, according to Jay Hurley, president of The New England District Council of Ironworkers. The council represents the six New England States.
Ironworkers erect and install steel beams to create the frameworks for commercial and residential buildings. The work is exciting but involves a great deal of climbing and balancing in high places.
Despite stricter federal safety standards and the use of safety devices such as nets and scaffold, the workers face a high risk of sustaining severe work-related injuries.
“Ironwork is generally considered to be the most dangerous of the building trades,” Hurley said.
“Falls and being crushed are the two main causes of death,’’ he said. ‘‘We don’t tout how dangerous the business is, but it’s well-known.”