People who work in construction face a high risk of injury in their line of work. Attorneys Matthew Quick and Elizabeth Quick have seen the financial and personal toll of construction accidents on injured workers and their families. This is why they work diligently to ensure workers receive proper compensation and insurance benefits, and that negligent or dangerous employers are held accountable for endangering their employees.
The team at our Kirkland, WA law firm would like to go over some sobering statistics about construction accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured at a construction site, the legal team at Quick Law Group, PLLC can help.
The Size of the Construction Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 7.2 million people who work in the construction industry at the moment. The numbers from 2017 suggest that the majority of these construction workers work as carpenters or laborers at construction sites.
Annual Construction Accident Numbers
With so many people in construction, it should not be surprising that the BLS estimates around 150,000 annually. What’s interesting about these injuries is that workers between the ages of 25 and 34 tend to be the most commonly injured workers. This may be due to inexperience as well as the general nature of the job.
The Risk of Injury for Construction Workers
As you might have imagined, the injury numbers above suggest a much higher risk of injury for people in construction when compared to workers in other fields.
According to estimates from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), around 1 in 10 construction workers are injured over the course of a year. While not all of these injuries will be significant enough to warrant hospitalization and medical treatment, the sheer rate of injury is worth pointing out.
Fatal Construction Injuries and Accidents
In 2016, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries in all fields. Transportation accidents led in the number of fatal accidents, accounting for 40 percent of all work-related deaths.
Looking at construction fatalities, the BLS recorded 991 constriction worker deaths in 2016; this is a 5 percent increase over 2015’s construction worker fatalities (937). Of the construction worker fatalities recorded in 2016, 631 involved specialty trade contractors, 182 involved workers in building construction, and 159 deaths were workers in heavy and civil engineering construction.
The Risk of Fatal Injury for Construction Workers
According to estimates from Safety + Health, an average person with a 45-year career in construction has a 1 in 200 chance of being killed on the job.
This is a significant statistics. Putting some of the above numbers together, construction workers account for only 4 percent of the American workforce and yet construction workers comprise around 21 percent of work fatalities each year.
The Fatal Four in Construction
The vast majority of construction worker fatalities are the result of four kinds of accidents, which OSHA has referred to as “the fatal four.” This refers to falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and being crushed or caught between hazards at a construction site.
In 2016, more than 64 percent of the fatalities in the construction industry were caused by the fatal four. Here is a breakdown of these kinds of incidents:
- Falls - 384 fatalities (38.7 percent)
- Struck by Object - 93 fatalities (9.4 percent)
- Electrocutions - 82 fatalities (8.3 percent)
- Caught/Crushed Between Objects - 72 fatalities (7.3 percent)
Contact an Experienced Construction Accident Lawyer
For more information about your legal rights and options following an injury at a construction site, be sure to contact our team of work injury and accident lawyers. The team at Quick Law Group, PLLC is here to help. You can reach us by phone at (425) 576-8150.