If you’re a construction worker, you probably assume your employer has taken care of all safety precautions. You may also believe all your coworkers are adequately trained and are using equipment correctly, so you’re not in danger. However, thousands of workers are injured on the job each year, and many of these injuries result in fatalities.
Discover construction worker injury and death statistics below.
Construction Worker Injury and Death Statistics
Here’s a breakdown of construction industry statistics, according to IMEC Technologies:
- There are over 10 million workers in the U.S. construction industry
- Eight-teen workers out of every 100,000 will be injured
- Over 1,000 workers die each year
- Forty-three percent of construction workers plan to work past age 65
- Sixty percent of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) inspections are in the construction industry
- The number of deaths in the construction industry is projected to rise
Keep reading to learn about the top four most dangerous jobs within the industry.
The Fatal Four
OSHA identifies the leading causes of death in the construction industry as “the fatal four.” Unfortunately, the fatal four always claim spots in OSHA’s annual top ten list of workplace violations.
OSHA states that eliminating these four hazards in the industry can save over 630 lives every year:
One: Falls, which result in around 400 deaths every year
Two: Being struck by an object, which claims about 100 lives every year
Three: Electrocution, which claims approximately 100 lives each year
Four: Being caught in between heavy machinery, which results in around 100 deaths every year
The leading cause of construction workplace deaths is falls. Each year, more than 100,000 injuries are due to work-related falls. The different heights at which employees must enforce fall protection are:
- Six feet, which requires general fall protection
- Ten feet, which requires scaffolds
- Thirty feet, which requires a steel erection
If a worker is performing a job at one of the heights listed above, their employers must enforce the following systems:
- Guardrail systems
- Personal Fall Arrest (PFA) systems
It’s your employer’s responsibility to identify fall hazards, such as holes in platforms and unsecured edges, before allowing you to work.
A struck-by hazard is any object at a workplace that can result in fatal injuries by forcible contact between a worker and a piece of equipment. Sadly, many construction companies find it challenging to protect their workers from flying objects because they may not be participating in the work that causes the objects to fly.
It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure their workers are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) at the worksite.
There are four struck-by hazard categories:
- Falling object
- Flying object
- Rolling object
- Swinging object
According to OSHA, construction companies must:
- Comply with all heavy equipment, motor vehicle, and general requirements detailed in OSHA’s standards
- Provide adequate PPE for all employees, which includes high-visibility clothes
- Provide required training for vehicles and equipment
- Review the qualifications of operators and signal persons
OSHA recommends electricians do the following to stay safe:
- Locate and identify utilities before starting work
- Look for overhead power lines when operating machinery
- Maintain a safe distance from power lines
- Use ground-fault surge protectors
- Watch out for electrical hazards when working from ladders, scaffolds, and other platforms
4. Being Caught in Between Objects
Excavation and trench cave-ins and other accidents where workers are caught-between machinery can happen without warning.
Do the following to avoid being caught in between objects:
- Never position yourself between fixed objects
- Avoid entering unprotected trenches that are deeper than five feet without an adequate protective system in place
- Make sure the trench is protected by sloping, shoring, benching, or trench shield systems
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I was recently injured at my workplace. What should I do?
A: Look into your legal options. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and a workers’ compensation claim.
Q: What’s the difference between a personal injury lawsuit and a workers’ compensation claim?
A: The primary difference between the two is the fault requirements and types of compensation available.
Q: Is my employer legally responsible?
A: Liability for the injury depends on the details of the accident, but if your employer is found negligent, they owe you compensation.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Is Here for You
If you or a loved one were injured in a construction accident, it’s worth pursuing compensation. The experienced construction accident attorneys at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help you hold your negligent employer accountable so that you can receive damages.
Our law firm is still operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, so feel free to schedule a free case evaluation.