The recent release of data from the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries revealed what many see as an alarming jump in work-related deaths throughout 2019. The study on occupational fatalities revealed that workers lost their lives every 99 minutes while on the job.
Alarming statistics for construction workers
While the statistics represented numerous industries, construction workers killed at worksites increased. In 2019, fatalities among construction workers skyrocketed to 1,061, representing a five percent increase from the previous year and decade-long growth of 41.1%.
Even more troubling, researchers believe that the number could be higher than what is being reported, with many of the accidents considered preventable, if not outright avoidable.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, construction work represents one of the most dangerous industries nationwide, with a fatality rate of 12.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers.
Three construction workers die while working in the United States every day. The most common type of fatalities include:
- Caught-between objects
Falls from scaffolding, wall openings, ladders, and other hazardous conditions topped the list of deaths at nearly 47 percent, with struck-by-an-object at 10.3 percent. Electrocutions were close to nine percent and caught-between-objects at 2.6 percent.
Older workers – precisely those 65 and older – accounted for 22 deaths per 100,000 full-time construction workers, more than doubling those 45 to 64 years old.
While construction work has its rewards, the risks are disproportionately higher. When accidents occur, workers can suffer severe and fatal injuries. Many families are suddenly left without a beloved family member who was also a primary wage earner. Far too many tragedies involve employers falling short of the most basic standards of safety and should be held accountable for their negligence.