The Importance of Safety Training in the Construction Industry

March 10, 2021 Posted In Uncategorized

Without a basic understanding of proper safety practices, construction workers will be at a greater risk for injuries, illness, or even death. No matter how small or large a company is, the health and safety of construction workers are constantly threatened. Since construction is inherently dangerous, all companies need to provide health and safety training to their workers, as well as ensure that their training is updated on a regular basis.

Here is a list of shocking construction death and injury statistics highlighting how important safety training in the construction industry is.  

Construction Fatality Statistics

  • 1,001 construction workers were killed on the job in 2019, accounting for one in five of all work-related deaths. (OSHA)
  • The “Fatal Four” are the leading causes of construction deaths, which account for more than 60 percent of all construction-related deaths: 
  • Falls – 33.5% of total deaths in construction in 2019. (OSHA)
  • Struck by Object –  11.1% of total deaths in construction in 2019. (OSHA)
  • Electrocutions: 8.5% of total deaths in construction in 2019. (OSHA)
  • Caught-in/between: 5.5% of total deaths in construction in 2019. (OSHA)
  • Around 60 percent of the 42 crane-related deaths involved a falling object. (BLS)
  • Construction has the fourth-highest rate of worker deaths out of any industry, with 9.7 of every 100,000 construction workers suffering fatal injuries. (BLS)
  • Over a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 1 in 200 chance of being fatally injured on the job. (Safety & Health Magazine)
  • Nearly half of all deaths on construction sites occur in companies with ten or fewer employees or among those who are self-employed. (CDC)

Non-Fatal Construction Injury Statistics

  • 195,600 construction-related injuries occurred in 2018. (BLS)
  • Across all industries, construction has 71% higher injury rates. (NIH)
  • Each year, approximately 1.7 percent of construction workers miss work due to injury. 
  • 8.5% of work-related injuries that result in missed days of work occur in the construction industry. (BLS)
  • Over 25% of construction workers fail to report work-related injuries. (CPWR)

The Cost of Construction Injuries

  • Construction injuries cost more than $11.5 billion annually in the U.S. (NIH)
  • Fatal construction injuries in the U.S. cost approximately $5 billion each year in health care, lost income, reduced quality of life, and lost production. (Midwest EPI)
  • $2.5 billion in annual workers’ compensation claims is related to non-fatal falls. (Liberty Mutual)
  • OSHA penalties for safety violations can cost from $13,653 to $136,532. The highest recorded penalty in 2019 was $1,792,726 in relation to a fatal fall. (OSHA)

The Most-Common Safety Violations Cited According to OSHA 

OSHA also ranks the ten most frequent safety violations on construction sites. These safety violations lead to a significant number of non-fatal and fatal workplace injuries in 2019:

  1. Inadequate fall protection
  2. Unsafe scaffolding
  3. Inadequate hazard communication standards
  4. Unsafe ladders
  5. Inadequate respiratory protection
  6. Powered industrial truck safety violations
  7. Failure to control hazardous energy (lockout or tagout violations)
  8. Inadequate fall protection training
  9. Inadequate machine guarding and unsafe machinery
  10. Inadequate face and eye protection

Given the number of preventable construction-related deaths and injuries, safety training is essential to the industry. Construction companies that invest in safety and health programs are estimated to save $4 to $6 for every $1 spent on training, according to OSHA. 

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