Breaking Down the Numbers: Analyzing Trends in Construction Accidents

By: | May 22nd, 2024

Photo by C Dustin on Unsplash

Keeping workers safe on the job site is a full-time job for construction businesses. There are a myriad of rules and regulations that help dictate safe and proper procedures, and companies are held to a high standard when it comes to enforcing these expectations on a daily basis. However, despite the efforts of the federal government and construction company owners, accidents still happen on job sites with surprising frequency.

Understanding the trends associated with these kinds of accidents can help to make sure that your construction business doesn’t fall prey to these kinds of costly and dangerous mistakes and errors.

What do the Numbers Tell Us?

There are various studies that can be referenced if you want to gather data to help improve the safety at your job site. These studies can look at all kinds of factors, and there might be benefits to checking out the data associated with all quality studies that have been done into construction accidents and what causes them.

  • The Specialty Trades have significantly higher incidence rates of fatalities. Based on a study done in 2012 by the AGC of America, these trades account for 56% of the deaths reported annually on construction sites.
  • The same study showed that falls remain the leading cause of death in construction work, accounting for 33% of the annual reported fatalities on construction sites.
  • OSHA compiles annual reports about the most frequently cited standards that are violated each year. From 2021 to 2022, fall protection was the most commonly violated OSHA standard in the US.

While falls account for a significant portion of the accidents on construction sites, it is also common for vehicles and devices to cause accidents or deaths. Chemical exposure, fires, and collapse of structures can also cause injuries or deaths on construction sites.

There are also less dramatic incidents which can still lead to long-term health and wellness impacts on construction workers. The CDC reports that tinnitus is a common long-term health issue for construction workers, and over 7% of construction professionals suffer from this condition.

While it is unquestionable that construction jobs come with a stated amount of risk, there is no reason for the statistics to indicate such high numbers of accidents that could have been avoided. OSHA also collects data about the reasons for each accident, and studies done in 2021 indicated that these factors led to avoidable injuries and deaths on construction sites across the US:

  • Incorrectly stored or placed tools and equipment
  • Swinging or loose objects
  • Wiring and outlets near water
  • Loose and shifting materials
  • Equipment malfunctions
  • Falling items that should have been secured properly
  • Moving equipment
  • Trapping workers between the equipment and other surfaces
  • Incorrectly identified holes or gaps in the flooring
  • Getting pulled into unguarded machinery
  • Becoming trapped in trenches, excavation areas, or masonry walls
  • Being electrocuted by free-hanging electrical connections
  • Lack of fall protection

All of these various kinds of accidents can be avoided when the proper safety procedures are in place at a construction site. Unsurprisingly, most of these oversights begin at the management level and trickle down. Improper and lackluster management often leads to a lack of commitment to proper safety protocols on construction sites. In many cases, the company itself is not dedicated to safety, and the workers who are employed by them suffer from this negligence.

Photo by Yury Kim on Pexels

Construction Accidents Can Almost Always be Prevented

Construction accidents and deaths can typically be prevented if correct safety protocols are in place at construction sites. If you have been harmed in a construction accident, you need to seek the support of an experienced legal team right away. Having access to experienced and committed legal representation can ensure that your rights are protected and that you are able to seek compensation for your injuries and suffering.


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