25 Construction Safety Statistics and Trends for 2020

The construction industry is known for being one of the most dangerous fields to work in. Out of every 5,000 private-industry worker fatalities, 20 percent are in construction. That means one out of every five worker deaths is construction-related!

Construction also results in many non-fatal injuries that cost companies millions of dollars per year. This makes safety paramount in the industry. While safety measures and precautions, like those outlined by OSHA, can be costly upfront, their ROI can be massive.

A successful construction business will maintain effective safety programs, stay updated on OSHA regulations and pay the expenses involved even when business is slow. Not only because OSHA violations can range anywhere from a warning to $70K per incident, but because they care about their employees.

To illustrate the importance of worksite safety, we’ve compiled 25 construction safety statistics that cover the high number of injuries and fatalities, the cost of these accidents and the benefits of safe practices.

Construction Fatality Statistics

fatal four

1. One in five worker deaths annually is in construction. [OSHA]

2. Workplace fatalities that were crane-related fell to their lowest level recorded in 2017 with 33 deaths. [BLS]

3. Construction workers accounted for 1008 (47 percent) of all fatal work injuries in 2018. [BLS]

4. The “Fatal Four” leading causes of private sector working fatalities in the construction industry are falls, being struck by an object, electrocution and being caught in something or between two objects. These accidents are responsible for 58.6 percent of construction worker deaths. [OSHA]

5. Companies with 10 or fewer employees and those who are self-employed account for nearly half of all deaths on construction sites. [CDC]

6. Of all industries, construction sees the most fatal falls, accounting for 51 percent of all falls in the United States. [CDC]

7. During a 45-year career, there is a 1 in 200 chance that a construction worker will die from a work-related incident. [Safety & Health Magazine]

Non-Fatal Injuries in Construction

Nonfatal injuries

8. One in every 10 construction workers is injured annually. [OSHA]

9. Construction sees non-fatal injury rates that are 71% higher than any other industry. [Accident Analysis & Prevention]

10. Around half of serious workplace injuries go unreported each year. [LD&G]

11. Lifting, using a tool or machine, and carrying heavy objects are the leading causes of strain injuries in construction. [CWPR] (graphs)

12. Workers who are between the ages of 35 – 34 are the most likely to be injured while working in construction. [National Safety Council]

13. Construction worker illnesses and injuries are down from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.8 per 100 workers in 2017. [BLS]

The Cost of Jobsite Injuries

14. One fatal injury costs an average of $991,027 in hospital costs. [ConvergePoint]

15. The construction industry sees a 71 percent higher spend on workers’ compensation than all goods-producing industries combined, more than twice the mean cost for the average employer in other industries. [CPWR]

16. 15 percent of overall workers’ compensation costs are spent on workers who were injured at a construction site. [Workers Compensation]

17. Work-related injuries have caused companies to lose 103,000,000 production days in 2018. [National Safety Council]

18. Indirect costs for injuries in the construction industry can be as much as 17 times more than direct costs. [Safety & Health Magazine]

19. Purvis Home Improvement Co. Inc was fined $1.79 million for a preventable fatal fall, the highest fine of 2019. (OSHA)

It Pays to Practice Safety

20. Construction companies can save an average of $32,000 for each medically consulted injury they avoid. [National Safety Council]

21. Construction companies can save $4 – 6$ in indirect costs for every $1 invested in direct costs by evading an injury in the workplace. [OSHA]

22. Construction site injuries account for 6–9 percent of project costs, while safety and health programs only account for 2.5 percent of project costs. [CPWR]

23. A company must sell an additional $1,667,000 in services to offset $50,000 in losses from injuries, illness or damage and still make a 3% profit. [CPWR]

24. Better and more frequent training, regular inspections and regular health and safety meetings with construction supervisors result in lower costs, fewer lost-time injuries and more profits. [CPWR]

25. Getting rid of the “Fatal Four” causes of construction worker deaths would save 591 lives in the U.S. each year. [OSHA]

What We Can Learn from Construction Industry Statistics?

While the construction industry is inherently risky, proper safety and health training, as well as regular inspections and updated equipment, can mitigate some of these risks. Working to eliminate safety hazards associated with falls, falling objects and electrocution can save companies thousands per year.

Cost savings to the company are secondary to the obvious benefits of keeping workers safe. A safe workplace can also result in indirect benefits like a positive company reputation, the ability to recruit the best talent and improved employee morale.

Regardless of why a company decides to focus on workplace safety, it should be viewed as an essential task. It’s important that every construction crew member, even seasoned veterans, attend training and regular safety meetings. Even using simple methods, like using three points of contact approach of climbing on and off heavy machinery should be relearned.

When construction companies make safety a priority, everyone wins. And if you’re not in construction, staying aware and practicing things like road construction safety will help keep everyone safe.