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Austin Statesman: Construction Deaths "Tragedy" not "Accident"

In an excellent editorial today, the Austin Statesman decried the enormous toll of human life taken by failures to protect construction workers in Texas from safety hazards. The deaths of three men who fell from a broken scaffold on a high-rise apartment building under construction were a reminder of the sad state of construction safety in Texas.

The Statesman cites a report entitled "Building Austin, Building Injustice," by University of Texas researchers and the Workers Defense Project, which found that Texas had the highest number of construction fatalities in the nation. The article points out that

"there is a belief that cutting corners on training and safety equipment keep expenses down in construction. We get a cheaper house, right? But building on the cheap has hidden costs in the way of medical expenses paid by taxpayers when uninsured workers are injured or in legal fees that are paid to settle lawsuits. Those costs are passed along to consumers."

Read the full editorial here .