Based on the most recently available statistics, preventable workplace injuries have increased. The National Safety Council reported that more than 4.6 million preventable workplace injuries requiring medical attention occurred in 2019.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that almost 900,000 of the nonfatal on-the-job injuries that occurred in 2019 resulted in lost time from work. The BLS also reported that manufacturing accounted for 15 percent of the nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one out of five fatal accidents in 2019 involved a construction worker.
Falling or moving objects cause a majority of construction accidents
OSHA noted that vehicles and falling or moving objects represent the primary cause of construction accidents. Referred to as “struck-by” injuries, these accidents represent the highest number of nonfatal job site accidents for a wide range of employees on construction work zones, according to the CDC.
Nonroadway areas such as parking lots and vacant land ranked as the second most common place where vehicles struck workers. Individuals working as paving or surfacing equipment operators experienced a particularly high number of vehicle-related struck-by injuries.
Employers could take steps to help reduce workplace accidents
Because of the known risks of on-the-job accidents, employers need to keep their job sites safe, clear of debris and free of hazards. Implementing safety technology such as installing sensors on trucks and properly maintaining work equipment could also help reduce the number of accidents.
An on-the-job accident may require workers’ compensation benefits to help an employee cover medical expenses and recover from injuries. If an injury results in death, surviving family members may file a legal action for relief, which may include financial compensation.