The construction industry is one of the most dangerous in which to work. Accidents occur often due to the hazardous work environment, and while it is impossible to eliminate all risks on a construction site, proper safety procedures can minimize them.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics explained the most common type of accident on construction sites were falls, slips and trips in 2020. The death rate due to these types of incidents was 27.8%, which represented 12% of the falls, slips and trips in all industries.
Fatal accidents are increasing
Despite technology and other measures to increase safety on worksites, fatalities within the construction industry due to accidents keep increasing. In 2020, 308 workers died on the job. This was the highest number since 2015. The industry had 9% of all on-the-job deaths due to accidents in the whole job market.
Injuries are decreasing
The good news is that injury-only accidents where nobody died decreased within the industry. In 2020, the industry had 213.9 incidents compared to 233.7 in 2019. It was down from 316 in 2016.
These numbers represent the industry as a whole. Some specific types of injury incidents did increase. For example, exposure to harmful substances increased. The number for 2020 was 1,500, which was up from 450 in 2019.
Safety within the construction industry has to be a priority for everyone from the top down, within companies. Executives have the duty to create a safe environment and ensure everyone within the company focuses on safety. Managers have to provide the right tools and equipment for workers to stay safe, and workers need to be safety-minded at all times.