Construction work presents challenges, particularly when it comes to workers’ safety. Efforts have been made to prevent injuries, including safety equipment, cutting-edge technology, and in-depth training.
Yet, in spite of those advances, an alarming number of injuries occur in accidents, with some fatal. Out of all the worker deaths in the U.S., one-fifth of those fatalities involve professionals in the construction industry, a statistic that continues this year. Even more troubling, these workers only account for six percent of the national workforce.
Additional data paints a bleak picture when it comes to fatalities:
- Out of every 100,000 workers, 9.7 are fatally injured
- The “Fatal Four” top causes of deaths – falls, struck by equipment, caught in between, and electrocutions – make up more than 60 percent of fatalities
- Work-related fatalities account for the fourth-highest rate of deaths of any industry
Not-fatal accidents are still impactful and can end careers or result in serious disabilities:
- Construction accidents make up 8.5 percent of all industries on average
- Rates of injuries are more than 70 percent higher than in other industries
- Annually, 1.7 percent are injured to the point where 8.5 percent miss work
- Of all the age demographics, workers 25-34 are most likely to be injured
Construction accidents that result in injuries not only cost workers days away from the job but also have a financial impact:
- Overall costs of construction injuries in the U.S. cost $11.5 billion annually
- When accounting just for health care, lost income and production, and overall quality of life, fatal construction accidents cost $5 billion nationwide
- Construction injury financial costs in the U.S. exceed 11.5 billion
- Workers comp claims involving non-fatal falls cost $1.5 billion each year
Construction workers literally put their well-being, if not their lives, on the line every day. That dedication deserves commensurate efforts to ensure their well-being. Anything less than the highest standards of safety is not enough and will only result in more injures and deaths.