“Construction is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States,” begins a new report by The Center for Construction Research and Training. Titled “Fatal and Nonfatal Injuries in the Construction Industry,” the report offers “updated information” on those injuries, based on data gathered from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and employer logs obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. (These latter logs specifically pertain to “private, wage-and-salary construction workers.”) The report notes, crucially, that this latter survey “has been found to underreport nonfatal injuries,” and that it has been specifically found to underreport “nonfatal injuries among Hispanic construction workers.”
The report’s key findings are as follows. Examining injury data from 2011 until 2021, it found an average of 963 fatal injuries suffered by construction workers annually, as well as 78,000 nonfatal injuries suffered by private wage-and-salary construction workers. (The report defines “nonfatal injuries” as “injuries include injuries or illnesses that resulted in days away from work.”) Fatal injury rates, the data found, rose over the decade in question “among those who were under 55… Hispanic… and male.” For workers under 55, fatal injury rates rose from 8.1 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers to 9.0; for Hispanic workers, from 9.6 to 12.6; and for male workers, from 9.7 to 10.8.
The Center for Construction Research and Training found additionally that roofers suffered the highest fatal injury rate in 2020: 47 fatal injuries for every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Meanwhile, helpers had the highest nonfatal injury rate from 2018 to 2020, with 501.8 nonfatal injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Finally, the Center found that some of the most common causes of injuries or exposures were “falls, slips, and trips.” These accounted for an average of 376 fatal injuries from 2018 until 2020, and an average of 22,900 nonfatal injuries during that same period. The “primary source of nonfatal injuries,” meanwhile, were “parts and materials,” which were responsible for about 15,900 annual injuries. Ladders were also a leading cause of nonfatal injuries, comprising about 6,800 annually.
More information on the Center for Construction Research and Training’s research on injuries in the construction industry is available via its report.