Construction Industry Injuries and Fatalities on the Rise

fatal construction accidents

Regularly dealing with heavy machinery and dangerous environments takes its toll on construction workers. And the latest construction injury statistics show just how dangerous a profession it can be.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)[1], construction workplace fatalities totaled 1,092 in 2022, an increase from 2021’s 1,015 fatalities. How does that stack up against other industries? Well, the construction industry accounted for about 20% of the 5,486 fatalities[2] that occurred across all U.S. industries in 2022 — a staggering percentage.

In this article, we will pore through construction injury statistics to uncover the most common causes of injuries and fatal accidents and gauge the economic impact of workplace injuries and fatalities.

Construction Is the 2nd-Most Dangerous Profession

With 13 deaths annually per 100,000 full-time workers, construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S. According to the BLS[2], construction and extraction occupations trailed only the transportation and material moving industry’s 14.6 fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers.

The construction industry encompasses many roles, each with different levels of risk. For example, roofers have the fifth-highest risk of work-related deaths[3] across all industries. However, painters and those working maintenance or general construction jobs face lower risks of workplace-related fatalities.

Common Causes of Fatal Construction Accidents

Falls were the leading cause of construction workplace fatalities[2] in 2022, accounting for 423 construction worker deaths per year. Unsurprisingly, in light of that statistic, the ladder tops the list for the most dangerous piece of construction site equipment.

But falls are just one of several risks construction workers face daily.

Unintentional contact with equipment, such as cranes, loaders, or lifts, is a contributing factor to many fatal incidents. Road construction workers are also at risk of vehicular-related accidents.

The bottom line is that construction workers spend a lot of time around heavy machinery and powerful tools, which increases the likelihood of injury.

Types of Injuries in the Construction Industry

We touched on common causes of fatal construction accidents. Now, let’s explore the construction industry’s most common injury types.

Falls

Falls from another level, such as ones where a ladder or walkway collapses, are the leading cause of death for construction workers. Slips and falls on a level surface are less likely to be fatal but can still lead to severe injury.

Falls may occur if scaffolding or ladders are not properly set up or workers aren’t provided with appropriate safety equipment. Scaffolding accidents may occur due to planking problems or other substandard equipment.

Struck-by Accidents

Struck-by accidents are another major cause of concern. In 2022, 484 people died in a workplace accident involving the category of “struck by object or equipment,” according to the BLS[2].

When dealing with heavy machinery, workplace accidents may occur if employees don’t receive machine operation training or aren’t provided with high-visibility clothing and proper safety equipment.

Electrocutions

Electricity may be something you use every day, but those who work with or close to electrical wiring must be cautious. Exposure to electricity caused 145 workplace deaths in 2022[2].

Working in flooded or damp spaces is incredibly dangerous, and older buildings with poorly documented or unsafe wiring can be a major source of accidents.

Basic precautions, such as assuming an electrical wire is live until proven otherwise, can go a long way toward keeping construction workers safe.

Caught-in/between Accidents

“Caught in or compressed-by” accidents involving equipment or heavy objects are another risk factor for construction workers. In 2022, 142 of these fatalities occurred — 102 of which involved running equipment or machinery[2]. There were also 95 deaths involving someone being stuck or caught in a collapsing structure or piece of equipment[2]. These figures are likely attributed to insufficient traffic control, a lack of safety barriers, and poor observations by those operating heavy machinery.

Caught-in and caught-between accidents are one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s top four construction hazards[4].

Economic Impact of Injuries and Fatalities

Workplace-related accidents can be distressing and costly for workers and business owners. There’s the cost of medical care and other expenses for the injured party, as well as the costs associated with paying workers’ compensation and training new employees.

According to the National Safety Council[5], the total cost of work injuries — to individuals, employers, and the U.S. — totaled $167 billion in 2021 alone. That’s $1.3 million per death.

Life in the wake of a serious accident can be stressful. Fortunately, help is available. At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding to help people cover their costs until they settle the accident lawsuit. Our team is happy to answer any questions about pre-settlement funding or arrange a consultation to discuss your claim and how we can help.

What Can You Do?

If you have initiated a lawsuit because of injuries sustained from a construction accident but are worried about your ability to keep up with your expenses while you wait for the lawsuit to conclude, call USClaims.

At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding. If a case qualifies for pre-settlement funding, we may purchase a portion of the proceeds of the anticipated court judgment or settlement, giving you access to a lump-sum payment when you need it most. This gives you peace of mind and helps cover your expenses while you wait for your case to settle.

Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.

The availability of pre-settlement funding varies by state. Contact USClaims for more information.

Sources

  1. “Industries at a Glance: Construction: NAICS 23.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag23.htm#fatalities_injuries_and_illnesses. 2023.
  2. “Bureau of Labor Statistics. National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2022.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf. 2023.
  3. “America’s Most Dangerous Jobs: Search Job Titles for Their Fatal and Nonfatal Injury Rates | USA TODAY Databases | USA TODAY NETWORK.” USA TODAY Databases, https://databases.usatoday.com/americas-most-dangerous-jobs/. Accessed 27 Mar. 2024.
  4. “Top Four Construction Hazards.” Occupational Safety and Health, https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/construction_hazards_qc.pdf. n.d.
  5. “Work Injury Costs.” National Safety Council, https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/costs/work-injury-costs/. 2021.
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