Washington, DC – December 19, 2018 – North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey issued the following statement in response to the latest census report on fatal occupational injuries released yesterday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

“Workplace fatalities are of great concern to North America’s Building Trades Unions. While both the rate and number of construction workers fatalities decreased in 2017, any loss of a worker on the job is too many. These tragedies are preventable.

“We are distressed by the devastating upsurge of on the job overdose deaths occurring by opioid and other drug abuse, as well as the increase of construction industry fatal falls. Through NABTU’s Opioid Taskforce, we continue to employ all channels in mobilizing the entire construction industry to address the growing drug abuse crisis. Additionally, we support expanding fall prevention training like CPWR’s Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction, because as these numbers reflect, more must be done.

“Our fight for the health and safety of workers will never let up. Our standards, research, training and service programs reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities, and we look forward to ensuring these fatality numbers decline in years to come.”