Industrial Injuries and Job Requirements for Construction Workers: Featured in Statistics: US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023)

HOMELANDARCHIVEABOUTPOST COMMENTSSUBSCRIBE TOIndustrial Injuries and Job Requirements for Construction Workers: Featured in Statistics: US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2)


< >

Industrial Injuries and Job Requirements for Construction Workers: Featured in Statistics: US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (3)

November 2022

Accidents at Work and Job Requirements for Construction Workers

Nichole Helmick and Jeremy Petosa

Falls, slips and trips accounted for 35.3% of workplace deaths in construction and quarry occupations in 2020. Construction and quarry workers suffered 21,400 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses. Of the 345 deaths from falls in construction, 96 occurred among construction workers. Although falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, workers in this occupation are exposed to other stresses that lead to injury and death. This Stats Spotlight focuses on the typical physical demands of construction workers, the stress they experience on the job, and the fatal and non-fatal injuries they suffer.

View chart data

Construction worker deaths hit 5-year high

In 2020, construction workers suffered the highest annual number of fatal injuries (308) in the past 5 years. Construction workers accounted for nearly a third of all fatal injuries in construction and quarry occupations in 2020, the highest proportion since 2016.

While construction workers had more workplace deaths in 2020 (308) than in 2019 (293), construction and mining occupations as a whole saw a decline (1,066 to 976). First-line supervisors accounted for 9.0% (88 of 976) of workplace deaths in construction and mining occupations in 2020.

(Video) Worker Safety Data

View chart data

In 2020, the incidence rate of non-fatal accidents increased for all occupations, but decreased for construction workers

From 2019 to 2020, the incidence rate of non-fatal occupational illnesses and injuries with days lost increased from 94.8 cases to 127.2 cases per 10,000 full-time employees for all occupations. Meanwhile, the incidence rate for construction workers dropped (from 233.7 cases to 213.9 cases) over the same period. The rate in 2016 was 316.0. Although the rate and total number of construction workers decreased in 2020, not all case numbers for specific events decreased. For example, the number of non-fatal cases due to exposure to harmful substances or environmental factors increased from 450 in 2019 to 1,500 in 2020.

The incidence rate of construction and extractive occupations also decreased from 2019 (163.9) to 2020 (156.2).

View chart data

62.2 percent of construction workers are exposed to heights

A worker is considered exposed to heights when their center of gravity is more than 5 feet above the ground and the worker could be injured in the fall. This means that walls or railings do not surround the worker to prevent them from falling. For construction workers, 62.2 percent are exposed to heights. Personal protective equipment (PPE), which typically includes seat belts or harnesses, reduces some of the risk of exposure. Thirty-one percent of construction workers use PPE.

View chart data

Construction workers suffered nearly 12% of all fatal falls, slips or trips in 2020

In 2020, construction workers were responsible for 27.8% of falls, slips or trips among construction and mining workers. Most of these were shocks to a lower level. Additionally, 31.2% of all construction worker deaths were caused by falls, slips or trips. Across all occupations, construction workers experienced 11.9% of fatal falls, slips or trips in 2020.

Construction and quarrying occupations often experience severe exposure to falls, slips or trips in the workplace. In fact, workers in construction and mining occupations accounted for 42.9% of all fatal falls, slips or trips in 2020.

View chart data

The rate of nonfatal falls, slips, or trips was higher among construction workers than among all workers.

In 2020, the incidence rate of nonfatal falls, slips, or trips was higher among construction workers (52.5 cases per 10,000 full-time employees) than among all workers (22.9 cases). Furthermore, the rate for construction workers is higher than the rate of falls, slips or trips for general construction and quarrying occupations (41.1 cases) and direct supervisors (25.5 cases).

Construction workers suffered fewer falls in 2020, at the same level as in 2019.

(Video) First Day on the Job Was His Last: What Happened to Day Davis

View chart data

Nearly 93 percent of construction workers must wear medium or heavy gauges

We measure the strength levels needed for each job, which are calculated from the weight a worker must lift, the time it takes to lift or carry the weight, and the time spent standing and walking. There are five strength levels: sitting, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy.

Builders usually require heavy or medium stamina. 38.8% of construction workers required a lot of strength, making it one of the highest proportions of occupations that require this level of strength. Another 54.0% of construction workers required moderate force. For comparison: 8.9% of all civilian workers require heavy force and 28.2% medium force.

On average, construction workers must lift or carry 58.8 pounds, compared to the all-occupation average of 26.3 pounds.

View chart data

Effortless non-fatal incidence rates are higher in construction workers than in related occupations

Overuse injuries or illnesses can be caused by events that involve body movement or excessive physical exertion (for example, straining when lifting or bending down). In 2020, the incidence rate of overexertion and physical reaction among construction workers was 48.3 cases per 10,000 full-time employees, up from 61.6 in 2019. construction workers. and extractive occupations of builders (39.3) or supervisors (32.5). Additionally, the 2020 lifting or bending overexertion rate for construction workers (18.5) was higher than for construction and quarry occupations (12.0) or supervisors (7.3).

Construction workers suffered 3,950 non-fatal injuries or illnesses resulting in at least one day off work due to overexertion in 2020, up from 5,390 in 2019.

View chart data

More than 30% of construction workers must drive motorized vehicles or equipment

Nearly a third (30.9 percent) of construction workers have to drive to work. Driving includes operating passenger cars, light trucks, and engine-powered equipment. This driving requirement is separate from the requirement to be a passenger during normal work. Supervisors of construction and extraction workers have to drive more often (86.2 percent) than construction workers.

View chart data

(Video) Construction Safety Week 2022: Preventing head injuries on construction sites

Deaths of construction workers from transport accidents are the highest number in 5 years

Transport accidents are the second leading cause of death among construction workers, with 75 deaths in 2020. This is an increase from 73 in 2019 and the highest number in a year from 2016 to 2020.

While the number of workplace deaths among construction workers increased between 2019 and 2020, construction and mining occupations saw a 15.5% drop in fatal transport accidents between 2019 and 2020. Supervisors saw a drop of 52.4% from 2019 to 2020. Across all occupations, workplace transport fatalities decreased by 16.2% (2,122 to 1,778) between 2019 and 2020.

View chart data

60 percent of construction workers work near moving mechanical parts.

Proximity to moving parts is the operation of or proximity to moving materials, mechanical parts, adjustments, or moving objects that could cause personal injury. Moving objects are usually moving machinery or equipment. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for moving mechanical parts includes protective devices that mitigate accidents involving physical contact.

60.0% of civil construction workers work close to moving mechanical parts and 50.0% use PPE. Approximately 3.8 percent of construction workers at risk from proximity to moving parts are fully mitigated with PPE, in addition to another 60.0 percent. When potential PPE exposure is fully mitigated, we assume that workers are not exposed and therefore not included in PPE use estimates.

View chart data

Construction workers had a higher frequency of contact with objects and equipment compared to supervisors

Construction workers consistently experienced higher rates of object and equipment contact injuries than the other occupations reviewed here in 2020. Across selected events or exposures, supervisors consistently reported lower incidence rates compared to all construction workers. construction.

65 construction workers (21.1%) died in 2020 from contact with objects and equipment.

View chart data

Construction workers typically fail to mitigate their exposure to hazardous pollutants

Hazard exposure measures risk after workers use available personal protective equipment (PPE). Hazards are substances that adversely affect the respiratory tract, eyes, skin, or other living tissue through inhalation, ingestion, or contact.

Few workers are able to use PPE to completely eliminate the risk of exposure to hazardous contaminants, including approximately 11.5% of all construction and extraction workers. If use of PPE has completely reduced exposure, these workers are not included in the estimate of workers exposed to hazardous contaminants or workers wearing PPE.

(Video) Career Exploration: Occupational Outlook Handbook

View chart data

Fatal injuries from exposure to harmful substances or environments hit a 5-year high

In 2020, construction workers suffered 8.9% of all workplace deaths due to exposure to harmful substances or environments. The number of construction workers who died from this type of exposure in 2020 was the highest for any year between 2016 and 2020.

This development in death tolls mirrors that of the construction and mining professions as a whole. While construction and mining occupations saw an 8.9% increase in deaths from exposure to harmful substances or environments, their supervisors saw a slight decline between 2019 and 2020.

View chart data

Almost all construction workers have to work outdoors

Almost all construction workers work outdoors. 94 percent of workers in construction and mining occupations are exposed to the outdoors, and 85.5 percent of supervisors of these workers work outdoors. 81 percent of construction workers work continuously outdoors, defined as more than two-thirds of the time. This compares to 41.3 percent of workers in all construction and material handling occupations and 35.9 percent of construction supervisors and material handling workers.

Approximately 1 in 5 construction workers is exposed to loud noise on the job.

More information

Nichole Helmick is an economist at the Bureau of Compensation and Conditions, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jeremy Petosa was the economist in that office. If you have any questions about this Spotlight, please email[Email protected].

This Spotlight analyzes data on construction workers from the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS), the CFOI (Census of Fatal Work Accidents) and the Survey of Occupational Accidents and Illnesses (SOII). ORS captures the physical and cognitive demands of the job, as well as exposures and risks. The CFOI publishes the number of fatal work-related injuries and data on their circumstances. The SOII estimates the incidence rates and counts of injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

In SOII, lost-time cases are those requiring at least one day off (after the date of injury or illness onset) with or without transfer or work reduction days. Given the existence of data on specific occupations and case characteristics, days lost per 10,000 full-time employees are the focus of this focus.

Construction workers perform many tasks on construction sites that require physical labor. They operate hand tools, power tools and a variety of equipment such as jackhammers, concrete mixers and measuring and lifting equipment. You can clear and prepare sites, dig trenches, place shoring to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and remove rubble, rubble, and other debris. As of May 2021, 968,760 people are employed as construction workers.

Learn more about the programs and dates of this Highlight on the following pages:

  • Occupational Requirements Assessment (ORS)

  • Fatal Work Injury Count (CFOI)

  • Occupational Accidents and Occupational Diseases Survey (SOII)

  • Employment and Occupational Wage Statistics (OEWS)

Recommend this page with:


1. Construction Accidents: Why Are Injuries On The Rise? [Data-Driven]
(Lawsuit Legal)
2. David Angueira - Discusses Worker's Compensation & Workplace Injuries
3. Most Common Workplace Injuries and How to Avoid Them
(TorHoerman Law)
4. Construction Accidents: Ladder Fall Protection Requirements
(The Kryder Law Group, LLC)
5. SAFETY 483 Sp17 Lecture 8 BLS IRs and Injury Ratios
(T William Loushine)
6. Introduction to Injury and Fatality Rates
(Safety Pro Calculations)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated: 16/09/2023

Views: 6239

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.