The number of construction workplace deaths and the industry's fatality rate declined in 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. But the construction sector continues to have the highest number of jobsite deaths among U.S. industries. The 2008 BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, released on Aug. 20, shows that construction had 969 fatalities in 2008, down 20% from the previous year's total. The 969 total is the largest among industries. Transportation and warehousing ranks second, with 762 deaths. The 2008 numbers are preliminary, and will be updated in April. One likely factor behind the steep decrease in construction deaths
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.