25 Construction Safety Statistics and Trends for 2019

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.

Man walking on scaffolding. Illustration.

Construction Fatality Statistics

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. Out of all worker deaths, construction, transportation and material moving workers accounted for 47 percent. [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 59.9 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]

Illustration: "The Fatal Four"

Non-Fatal Injuries in Construction

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 25 and 34 are the most likely to be injured while working in construction. [LaborPress]

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]

Illustration: "One fatal injury costs an average of $991,027"

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. That’s more than twice the mean cost for the average employer in all other industries. [CWPR]

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 104,000,000 production days. [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]

Illustration. 1 in 10 construction workers are injured annually.

It Pays to Practice Safety

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

20. Construction companies can save $4 in indirect costs for every $1 in direct costs by evading an injury in the workplace. [National Safety Council]

21. Studies show that a business can save $8 for every dollar spent on a quality health and safety program. [Construction Business Owner]

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. Eliminating the “Fatal Four” causes of construction accidents would save 582 workers’ lives in the United States each year. [OSHA]

Illustration: "Every $1 Spent on Health and Safety Programs Yields $8 in Savings"

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 is important that every construction crew member, even seasoned veterans, attend training and regular safety meetings. When construction companies make safety a priority, everyone wins.