National Construction Worker Injury Statistics

Construction is a dangerous industry. With all of the inherent risks associated with the use of heavy machinery, working high in the air, and the constant motion of workers and objects, it is not surprising that 18.5% of total fatal workplace injuries occur in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This article provides a snapshot of some of the injury numbers associated with the construction industry. Not surprisingly, the number of annual construction worker deaths in the United States rises and falls with the total number of workers: Year Total Construction Workers Fatalities 2007 11.8 million 1,239 2008 10.9 million 1,016 2009 9.7 million 879 2010 9.1 million 780 Source: 2011 Center for Construction Research and Training (CCRT) Report A construction worker has a 75% chance of missing work time due to a work related injury during a 45 year career, according to a 2011 CCRT Report. The same worker has a 1 in 200 chance of dyingfrom a work related injury during a 45 year career, according to the same report. Working for a small construction company increases the odds of injury. The percentage of construction workers employed at firms with fewer than 20 employees is 39%, but the percentage of construction worker deaths that occur at firms with fewer than 20 employees is 55%, according to a 2007 CCRT Report. Respiratory diseases are a surprisingly common illness for construction workers. 702 construction workers died in the United States from asbestosis between 1990 and 1999, and 15% of construction workers can expect to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the 2011 CCRT Report. OSHA tracks statistics of the specific types and causes of injuries in the construction industry. The most common fatal injuries are falls, electrocutions, “struck by object,” and “caught in/between.” #workerscompensation Injuries are often associated with a violation of a safety standard. Below is the list of the ten most commonly violated OSHA standards: sub-standard scaffolding inadequate fall protection ineffective hazard communication (warnings) inadequate respiratory protection sub-standard control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment powered industrial trucks (improper use) ladders (improper use) problems with electrical systems design, and problems with machines. Injury rates among construction workers also vary significantly based on the worker’s field of specialty. According to the 2007 CCRT Report, categories of construction workers with the highest death rates are: ironworker power installer roofer truck driver, and laborer. According to the same report, the categories of construction workers with the highest nonfatal injury rates are: helper sheet metal ironworker insulation laborer. Construction worker injury statistics also vary by state. According to the 2007 CCRT Report, the states with the highest death rates among construction workers are: Montana Wyoming Hawaii Washington Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. The 2007 CCRT Report also demonstrated that construction worker injuries can cause significant financial strain on the construction industry. The approximate total annual cost of worker injuries is $13 billion. The average OSHA fine for violating a safety standard is $1,100. Workers’ compensation costs alone eat up 5% of construction firm costs. But only 46% of total construction worker medical costs attributable to job related injuries are paid for by workers’ compensation.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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