As we write this, temperatures in Jonesboro are predicted to reach the upper 90s over the next week or so. The heat serves as a reminder of recent findings by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). The organization’s research shows that construction workers comprised 36 percent of all heat-related worker deaths over the 25-year period ending in 2016.

The organization says its mission is to “advance the construction industry” with safety-related research that will help reduce the number of construction accidents and on-the-job injuries.

The CPWR says its most recent research indicates that climate change might be a contributing factor in the heat-related construction worker deaths.

The organization analyzed data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries to identify on-the-job heat-related fatalities from 1992 to 2016. Researchers found that though construction workers accounted for 36 percent of those deaths, they comprise only 6 percent of the American workforce.

In each case of a heat-related death, researchers looked at data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to determine region, time and temperature. They found that 78 percent occurred in summer months:

  • July: 32.9 percent
  • June: 25.6 percent
  • August: 19.5 percent

They also found that heat-related deaths jumped from 9.5 per year from 1992 to 2002 to 13.7 per year from 2011 to 2016. They noted that the later period includes some of the hottest years recorded.

Their findings were recently published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Construction workers who have been injured on the job and then denied Georgia workers’ compensation benefits can appeal the finding with the help of a Jonesboro workers’ comp attorney.