Construction Site Injuries: Statistics and Safety Measures

Photo of a Yellow Helmet and a Injured Worker

The construction industry comprises 60% of all inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The OSHA has also reported that one in ten workers at a construction site gets injured every year. This is an indicator that construction workers are at an increased risk of injury or death, and employers need to take safety measures to ensure they provide a reasonably safe environment to the construction workers. 

Common Construction Site Accident Injuries

The most common injuries in construction sites include: 

  • Internal bleeding is caused by organ damage
  • Head injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) 
  • Respiratory illness or diseases caused by exposure to harmful chemicals 
  • Amputations as a result of crushing injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Electrocution 
  • Spinal cord injuries include herniated discs, partial paralysis, and total paralysis 
  • Wrongful death

While the majority of construction site accidents are caused by a sudden incident, some injuries happen over time. For example, repetitive motion of overexertion can result in injuries. Non-impact injuries such as those that happen when lifting heavy weights are also common at construction sites. 

Construction Site Injury Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 11.4 million U.S. workers employed in the construction sector in 2019, with around 90% of workers being male. Falls are the leading cause of accidents on construction sites. Over 36% of accidents at construction sites are caused by falls. This is followed by struck-by incidents and electrocutions as top reasons for injuries to construction workers.

Based on data from 2015 to 2017, companies with fewer than 20 employees had 75% of the total fatal falls in the U.S. The fatalities in construction site accidents among the Hispanic community are alarming as it has increased by 90% from 2011 to 2019. 

According to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slip and fall accidents accounted for more than one-third of workplace fatalities in 2020. Construction workers suffered 21,400 non-fatal workplace injuries due to slips, falls, and trips. In 2020, the annual fatal injury of 308 was a five-year high. First-line supervisors at construction sites accounted for 9 percent of workplace fatalities. 

Safety Measures  

For a safe workplace environment, employers need to ensure they take a proactive approach to safety, and that the employees adhere to safety practices and policies. The construction site employers can ensure they train the workers on how to identify safety hazards and take appropriate action. 

There should be a reporting system for safety hazards so all employees at the construction site can be informed about the danger. This will also allow the employer to initiate action to fix the problem and track the progress. The safety training should also include drills for dangerous situations such as natural disasters and chemical leaks. 

Another key safety measure is to have regular risk assessments and safety audits of the construction site. All areas with people should have proper lighting so the workers can avoid tripping and falling accidents. All loose wires and cords should be secured to minimize workplace accidents. Construction sites often have temporary walkways and ladders which are regularly moved around the site as needed. These platforms need to be sturdy to ensure stability for the construction workers.  

The management also needs to review accidents that have happened in the last few months to determine the cause of the accident, and how to prevent it from happening again. All equipment and machinery on the construction site should get regular maintenance checks. Struck-by accidents are a leading cause of construction site injuries. Routine inspection of construction equipment and machinery will help minimize the chances of such accidents. 

Holding regular safety meetings is an important safety measure for preventing accidents at construction sites. These meetings are a great opportunity to gather valuable feedback from construction workers and to remind them of any dangers that they need to keep in mind. 

How Can a Workers Compensation Attorney Help? 

Severe injuries can require long-term financial support in addition to out-of-pocket expenses to recover from the injuries. The potential expenses include the cost of hospital stay, surgery, assistive medical equipment, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and physical therapy. 

If you were injured by a worker at a construction site, you can contact a knowledgeable worker’s compensation claim attorney to discuss your case. You may be able to recover compensation for your damages related to the workplace injury. The workers’ compensation law firm can handle every step of the process from investigation to litigation. This includes submitting a petition for benefits and ensuring the petition has all the required information such as details of the accident that led to the injuries. Ideally, you want to conclude the case through negotiation or mediation. However, if needed, your attorney can take the case to trial. 

1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service.