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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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Even though many construction workers receive sufficient safety training and are provided the best safety gear, they are still at risk of severe workplace injuries. Many construction accidents result in severe injuries and wrongful death every year that could have been prevented had employers followed OSHA standards.

Were you injured in a construction accident, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC serve as legal advocates to every construction worker and can help your family too.

Contact our construction accident attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) today or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation and case review. All information you share with our law office remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that nearly 10 million workers in the U.S. were employed in the construction industry in 2019. The number of workers is a significant rise from its lowest level in 2012, which is expected to rise significantly over the next five years. This web page will review this data and summarize important takeaways related to construction accident statistics.

In 2019, over 5,330 workers in all industries in the United States were killed at their workplace, averaging over 100 deaths every week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) [1] revealed that 1061 construction workers were killed that year on construction sites, accounting for 20% of all work-related deaths.

Chicago Construction Accident Death Statistics

In November 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published its Employer-Related Workplace Injuries and Illnesses News Release, showing the safety statistics and the number of construction site injuries occurring to full-time workers had remained unchanged from the year before.

Some of these common construction safety statistics from the BLS and other agencies include:

  • OSHA safety statistics show that approximately 20% of all US worker deaths occur on construction sites
  • BLS revealed that nearly 60% of all crane-related deaths involved falling objects
  • OSHA reports that companies can be fined more than $135,000 for a single safety violation and millions for multiple safety violations
  • Construction workers have a 70% higher chance of suffering a work-related injury than all other occupations
  • There were seventy-one electrocutions in 2017 out of the nearly 1000 workplace-related deaths in the American construction industry
  • Approximately 250 incidents per 10,000 full-time construction employees suffered a workplace injury
  • Nearly 196,000 construction site injuries occurred in the construction industry, as did 3600 workplace illnesses
  • OSHA reports that 10% of all employees suffer construction site injuries every year
  • The common types of construction site injury accidents include falling, overexertion, contact with equipment or objects, transportation accidents, and bodily reaction
  • Construction industry deaths remain the fourth-highest rate of job site fatalities in any industry, representing 9.7 of every 100,000 workers
  • The BLS reports that steamfitters, pipefitters, and plumbers had the highest rate of workplace injuries and death in 2017
  • Purvis Home Improvement Company, Inc. paid nearly $1.8 million in violation fines involving a fatal fall, which was the highest recorded penalty on record in 2019
  • The average cost of significantly lower than the $1.2 million paid for every work-related death
  • More than 3.6% of all construction company budgets are spent on workplace injuries, while less than 2.6% of their budgets are spent on construction safety training
  • Injured construction workers are likely to experience sprains, strains, pain, soreness, punctures, lacerations, contusions, and fractures
  • Over 55% of all construction employees state that they would like to receive more construction safety training
  • Approximately 25% of all construction employees worry each day about being injured on their construction site
  • Estimates by OSHA reveal that for every one dollar a construction company invests, construction safety measures save up to $6 in injury rates and work-related expenses
  • Over 33% of all construction-related deaths were caused by falling, where many cases could have been prevented had employers issued fall protection gear
  • Wyoming had the highest incident rate of job-related fatalities at 11.5 per 100,000 full-time workers in 2020
  • More than 60% of all construction workplace injuries happen to new workers in their first year of work
  • BLS safety statistics reveal that one worker died every 99 minutes in 2019 from a work-related accident
  • Data shows the typical construction worker is most likely to be and Hispanic or foreign-born male
  • In 2019, there were 307 suicide-related workplace deaths and 313 unintentional overdoses
  • The occupational “Fatal Four” include falling, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught between or in an object, accounting for more than 60% of all construction deaths
  • In 2020, 1.7% of all construction workers were severely injured, requiring missed work
  • In 2020, approximately 8.5% of all work-related injuries requiring loss of days of work occurred in the construction industry
  • Falls continue to be the leading cause of work-related fatalities among construction employees
  • The National Institute of Health revealed that in 2020, construction-related injury rates jumped 71% above all other industries
  • Over 25% of all construction workers stated that they never reported their work-related injury
  • Nearly 200,000 cases of construction injuries occurred in 2018
  • Over 130,000 construction workers missed at least one day of work in 2019 due to a work-related injury
  • Construction workers over more than four decades on the job have a .5% chance of suffering a fatal workplace injury
  • Small construction companies have a higher incidence rate of fatal accidents compared to large general contractor companies and property development companies
  • Approximately 50% of all deaths in 2019 involved construction companies with ten or fewer workers and self-employed contractors
  • Construction carpenters maintain their lowest fatality rate of all jobs in the construction industry in 2019 at 6.7 fatalities per 100,000 construction workers
  • Nearly 55% of all construction workers died in 2019 due to a lack of personal fall protection equipment
  • Lifelong construction workers starting at twenty years old have a 50% chance of developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) by the time they reach 85 years old
  • Approximately 23% of all construction workers who died from falling had personal fall-prevention equipment but failed to use it
  • Nearly 7% of all construction-related injuries occur due to exposure to the environment or hazardous materials
  • Roofing is the fourth deadliest job worldwide, with a workplace fatality rate of nearly 40 per 100,000 workers
  • More workplace-related deaths occur in specialty construction trades than in other occupations in the construction sector
  • Construction workers were harmed by 15% of all lead poisoning cases in America in 2019
  • In 2019, construction workers 25 to 34 years old were most likely to be injured on the job
  • Ironworkers have the highest rate of severe injuries throughout the construction industry
  • In 2019, the leading causes of construction deaths involved harmful substance exposure, extreme temperatures, electrocution, being caught in or between objects, roadway accidents, collisions, explosions, fires, and water vehicle incidents

Other construction safety statistics include that OSHA reports worker deaths in the U.S. are down on average two about fifteen fatal injuries a day in 2019 from the 1970 average of thirty-eight worker deaths every day.

More construction safety statistics: worker illnesses and injuries are down significantly from nearly 11 incidents per 100 workers in 1970 to 222.8 illnesses and injuries per 100 workers in 2019.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Construction Injury Costs

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the United States spends approximately $5 billion every year on the construction of fatal injuries for healthcare, lost income, lost productivity, and reduced quality of life.

A construction accident injury can create financial hardship for families losing income who need to care for their dependents and maintain their quality of life.

Construction injury costs statistics include:

  • Data shows that thousands of construction workers are severely injured, and two workers are killed on the job every day in the United States on average
  • Construction worker employers spent nearly 3 times as much on compensation costs than other industries
  • In 2019, Connecticut had the fewest fatal construction accident injuries of all other states
  • Over $11.5 billion is spent every year in the United States on all construction injuries and work-related deaths
  • Insurance companies report that over $2.5 billion are spent annually fulfilling worker’s compensation benefits involving non-fatal falls
  • The most common OSHA citations involved electrical requirements, machine guarding, electrical wiring, ladders, and lockout/tag-out
  • Over 15% of all workers’ compensation benefits are provided to construction workers injured on the job
  • By events in 2019, most construction accident injuries involve falling (39%), transportation accidents (24%), contact in or with equipment and objects (17%), harmful substance or environment exposure (15%), violence (3%), and explosions or fires (2%)

Hospital expenses are not the only cost involved in construction accident injuries. One wrongful death on a construction site can cause the contractor or developer nearly $1 million in hospital bills on average.

In addition to hospital expenses, the employer must also provide workers’ compensation benefits and suffer the cost of a loss of productivity. The BLS reports the incidence rates that American companies 2017 lost over 100 million production days due to workplace accidents.

Chicago Construction Accident Statistics

Common Construction Injuries

Nearly every construction job is dangerous. However, the most hazardous include construction laborers, first-line supervisors, roofers, electricians, and carpenters. These individuals are typically entitled to receive financial compensation or workers’ compensation benefits while they heal.

  • Amputated limbs
  • Disfigurement
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Deafness
  • Blindness
  • Brain injury
  • Long-term impairment
  • Wrongful death

OSHA Enforcement of Safety Regulations Helping to Improve Jobsite Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for enforcing policies that reduce the likelihood and severity of injuries sustained on the job. Unfortunately, OSHA is a small government agency compared with the number of people it is tasked to protect.

  • OSHA employs 2,200 inspectors tasked with making sure that companies follow proper construction safety measures and awareness required to prevent workplace accidents and injuries
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Agency is responsible for over 8 million worksites in the United States, employing 130 million workers
  • There is one workplace inspector for every 59,000 workers in the United States
  • The Federal budget for OSHA in 2013 was $535 million and increased to more than $574 million by the year 2019.
  • Due to OSHA standards, the reports of workplace injury accidents on construction sites continue to decline since 1970, while employment has doubled in the same period

Road Construction Accident Statistics

According to the BLS, more than 1840 road construction workers died on the job between 2003 and 2017, averaging 123 deaths per year. Many fatal injuries occurred in highway work zones where motorists negotiated an array of lane changes, barrels, and signage. Other statistics included:

  • Data reveal that every fifteen minutes, someone is injured in a road construction zone
  • Nearly 70% of all work zone-related deaths involved non-workers in 2020
  • Over 530 construction workers died in road construction zones between 2011 and 2016, or 200% more than all other occupations sectors combined
  • Approximately 50% of all road construction zone deaths are the result of workers being struck by mobile equipment or vehicles
  • Nearly 25% of all fatality crashes in construction zones involved speeding in 2020
  • Crossing guard construction workers had the highest fatality rate in 2019 at 40.9 per 100,000
  • More motorists driving through road work zones are killed every year than road construction workers
  • Road construction zone companies are required to maintain a scheduled maintenance program for all of their equipment and construction vehicles to ensure everyone’s safety
  • By 2019, the number of road construction deaths nearly tripled since 1951
  • In 2019, 182 road construction fatalities involving rear-end collisions nationwide
  • Approximately 250 road construction fatalities occurred in 2019 involving a commercial motor vehicle in an accident
  • Data suggests that the frequency of crashes tends to increase significantly over lengthier road construction zones with dense traffic
  • 89 of the 345 worker fatalities killed in road construction zones between 2011 and 2017 involved vehicles backing up
  • Safety statistics reveal that highway maintenance workers ranked fifth in all work-related deaths in construction zones after extraction workers, construction equipment operators, tractor-trailer drivers, and construction laborers
  • Most congestion-related accidents in construction zones involve multi-vehicle crashes
  • 239 lives were lost to speeding in road construction zones in 2019

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implores drivers to drive safely to prevent a work zone accident by slowing down, obeying road crew flaggers and road signs, and remaining alert while avoiding distractions.

The administration instructs motorists not to text while driving and maintain a safe distance between vehicles, equipment, and workers.

Statistics on Chicago Construction Accidents

Most Reported OSHA Standards Violations for Workplace Injuries In the Construction Industry

Further construction safety statistics: the ten most Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards cited in violations include:

  • Lack of fall protection, including harnesses and fall arrest system equipment
  • Failure to properly communicate hazards
  • Filing scaffolding standards
  • Lack of respiratory protection or protection that is adequate to address health care or construction safety concerns
  • Out-of-code electrical wiring and methods used to install electrical components
  • Use of industrial machinery failing to meet operational or maintenance standards
  • Improperly using ladders
  • Powered industrial equipment safety violations
  • Failing to meet lockout/tag-out standards designed to control energy hazards
  • Improperly designed electrical systems
  • Substandard face and eye protection
  • Using machinery without machine safety guards

Don’t Be a Statistic. Contact the Construction Accident Attorney to Handle Your Compensation Case Today

Are you the victim of a construction injury or is a family member the victim of a work-related death? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are dedicated to helping construction workers maintain their rights.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by another’s negligence, you likely have a right to pursue legal recourse.

Contact our construction accident injury attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form on the site to provide your email address and schedule a free case review and consultation to go over your case information. We accept all cases through contingency fee agreements, meaning no upfront fees are required.

Resources: [1] Bureau of Labor Statistics

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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