Twin Cities building boom places construction workers at risk of injury

In 2007, Minnesota experienced a bumper year for construction. Then, the Great Recession struck.

For years, construction activity stagnated. But, with the Great Recession in the rearview and the economy slowly picking up steam, construction has rebounded, with 2013 seeing the most building permits issued in the Twin Cities since 2007, according to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. In the first half of 2014, there has been no sign of the trend slowing down.

The Minnesota construction boom has been great for the economy and has meant jobs for many construction workers who had formerly been struggling. However, with developers rushing to put up buildings as quickly as possible, the potential for Minnesota construction worker injuries is as high as ever.

Huge growth in construction industry, but lack of experienced workers

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported an impressive year-over-year job growth of 8 percent in the construction sector from April 2013 to April 2014, equating to an addition of 7,158 jobs. This rate of growth outpaced every other industry in the state. It was also more than double the national job growth rate in the construction industry of 3.5 percent over the same period.

The total value of building construction projects in Minneapolis alone easily topped $1 billion last year, according to the Community Planning and Economic Development department. Much of that substantial total was driven by large apartment complex projects, like the "Nic on 5th" building, slated for completion in the fall of 2014 at a total cost of $68 million.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that with the rapid pace of construction activity, construction managers have found it very difficult to find experienced workers. Many seasoned construction workers moved on to other occupations during the recession, and pay in the construction industry has not yet recovered to pre-recession levels, giving them little reason to return. Steve Hine, a labor market analyst, told the Associated Press that construction employers are scaling back experience requirements in order to get the workers they need.

If you were injured while working construction, you may be entitled to compensation

A rapid pace, a high volume of workers in the business and a lack of experience among many of those working at construction sites combine to make Minnesota construction worker injuries not only likely, but inevitable.

If you suffered injury while working at a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system, so even if your own actions contributed to causing your injury, you still may have a valid claim for benefits.

The construction boom is good for the Minnesota economy. But it is built on the backs of workers, many of whom aren't even being paid as much as before the Great Recession. If you were injured at work on a construction site, don't lose what you're owed: get in touch with a Twin Cities workers' compensation lawyer today to ensure you get the full, fair benefits you deserve.