Construction work is an inherently dangerous business. Each year, thousands of workers end up with severe or fatal injuries. Even a minor incident, such as forgetting to clean up a spill, can result in a broken back or fractured ribs.
Discover the hazards of working in the construction industry.
What Makes Construction Work Hazardous?
The construction industry is infamous for being one of the most dangerous fields to work in. One out of every five workplace fatalities is construction-related, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Furthermore, this type of work also results in thousands of non-fatal injuries that cost companies millions each year.
Continue reading to learn about the most common construction-related injuries.
Common Construction-Related Injuries
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry because employees usually work from great heights. Other hazards include:
- Collapsing trenches
- Electric shock
- Strikes by falling objects
- Fires and explosions
- Respiratory issues as a result of inhaling debris
- Back injuries due to heavy lifting
- Skin diseases resulting from sun exposure and handling hazardous waste
- Hearing loss from long-term exposure to noisy machinery
- Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Construction Worker Fatality Statistics
- Out of all worker deaths in 2018, construction, transportation, and material moving workers accounted for 47 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The four leading causes of construction worker fatalities are: falls, electrocution, being struck by an object, and getting caught in between two large objects. These accidents are known as the “fatal four,” and they’re responsible for 60 percent of construction worker deaths, according to OSHA.
- Of all industries, construction experiences most fatal falls, accounting for 51 percent of all falls in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
- Companies with less than ten employees and those who are self-employed account for half of all deaths on construction sites, according to the CDC.
- In the span of a 45-year career, there’s a 1 in 200 chance a construction worker will die from an accident in the workplace, according to Safety & Health Magazine.
Non-Fatal Injury Statistics
- One in every ten construction workers is injured each year, according to OSHA.
- Approximately half of the severe workplace injuries go unreported every year.
- Heavy lifting is the leading cause of strain injuries in construction, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training.
- Workers who are between the ages of 25-34 are most likely to experience injuries, according to LaborPress.
What Should Construction Companies Do to Protect Workers?
Construction companies have a duty of care to provide safety and health training to their employees. Additionally, they must conduct regular inspections and update equipment as needed. Although these steps don’t adequately protect workers, they eliminate most of the hazards associated with falls, electrocution, and falling objects; this can save thousands of lives each year.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Is Here for You
If you or a loved one were injured in a construction accident, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, the employer’s insurance company may try to minimize your injury, usually resulting in less compensation than you need. At Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton, we help injured workers, and the family members of wrongful death victims receive the financial compensation they deserve. Schedule a free case evaluation today.