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State of construction in New Jersey could put workers at risk

Construction work is a demanding job. Not only does it put great physical strain on workers, it is also mentally rigorous. It is an occupation where one small oversight or mistake could spell disaster, and safety protocols and equipment are all that stands between workers and catastrophic injuries.

And it may not be getting any easier for construction workers here in New Jersey. As discussed in this recent Construction Dive article, there are challenges facing the construction industry that could continue to put worker safety in danger.

Aging infrastructure

Transportation and utility infrastructure is aging and in need of repair. While this can open up job opportunities, it can also mean unsafe conditions on job sites. Risks of explosions, collapses and other serious events could put workers in danger, and the potential size of these projects could lead to miscommunications and delays that strain available resources -- including those in place to protect workers.

More projects

The article discusses the numerous opportunities for construction projects across New Jersey, from Atlantic City to Secaucus. Retail, industrial, commercial and transportation industries have room for growth in this state, which could eventually create more projects and more jobs.

Risk of worker shortage

There are currently a half million construction jobs open in the country, and that number could continue to grow if Congress passes a federal infrastructure bill. Further, about 40 percent of the current workforce is approaching retirement age; within five years, there could be a massive departure of workers which would exacerbate the worker shortage issue we already see.

Knowing that these could be potential issues around the corner can be crucial in planning ahead in terms of worker safety on job sites. By focusing on securing adequate resources and prioritizing responsible operation of construction projects -- even when there are worker shortages or massive delays -- it can be easier to avoid mistakes and dangerous conditions that threaten workers' lives.

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