Construction laborers are subject to electrical hazards, cave-ins and falling objects. And they do heavy labor in all kinds of weather.
The biggest risk is falls -- more than 250 construction workers a year are killed by them, according to Scott Schneider, the director of organizational safety and health for the Laborers Health & Safety Fund of North America.
His organization is running a campaign to reduce falls by increasing awareness among contractors and workers. It's also trying to change the industry culture to get bosses to encourage workers to report dangerous conditions.
In road construction, a major cause of death is getting struck by cars or construction vehicles, said Schneider. In loaded dump trucks, for example, drivers can't see where they're backing up. To avoid fatalities from construction vehicles backing up into place, trucks should be equipped with radar and cameras, Schneider said.
Millions remain unemployed and these companies want to hire. But they are struggling to find the right people.