10 Horrifying Falling Stats Involving the Construction IndustryPosted:
Does what you do for a living put you at risk of injury or death each day?
There are more than 10 million Americans that work in the construction industry.
Although the industry offers many kinds of jobs for people with different backgrounds, it is also a profession that is significantly more dangerous than most others.
In 2015, there were 991 construction worker deaths in the industry and 71,730 non-fatal injuries.
The industry also has a unique risk factor that many other jobs do not – height!
Read on to learn 10 horrifying falling stats involving the construction industry.
1. There were 364 deaths caused by falls in 2015.
Of the 991 deaths in the construction industry in 2015, 38.8% of them were caused by falls.
In fact, 64% of those fatalities had four causes. Falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and being caught in or between.
After falls, being struck by an object was the cause of 90 deaths, while electrocution was the cause of 81 and being caught in or between resulted in 67 workplace fatalities.
The sheer number of fatalities caused by falls reflects the danger of working from high above the ground in the construction industry.
2. The most violated construction industry standard is fall protection.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict standards about what is required for fall protection on construction job sites.
This is found in Section 1926.501 of the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction. This includes information like walking and scaffolding strength requirements.
Following these guidelines is crucial to having a safe working environment. However, OSHA reports that these are the most violated standards in the entire industry!
3. Thirty-nine percent of falls were from the roof.
Nearly four out of 10 falls in the construction industry take place from the top of a roof. That’s followed by 33% of people falling off of scaffolding and another 39% falling from ladders at various heights.
The fact that almost 40% of people fall from roofs each year in the construction industry is proof that it’s not enough to only ensure you are setting up scaffolding properly.
A roof can present a serious fall hazard because your body is positioned in an unnatural angle and forced to work against gravity at times.
4. More than 55% of falls are from 20 feet or lower.
If you think that you are only at risk from falling from high above the ground you are wrong.
There are tens of thousands of injuries and hundreds of death each year caused by falls. But over half of those falls are from 20 feet or lower.
This shows that falls are more about safety at all than it is about how high up you are.
5. Sixty-one fatalities occurred at residential construction sites.
When you think of fall fatalities, you may envision someone walking on a scaffolding set up high above the ground in a big city like New York.
But the reality is that these deaths can occur in residential and commercial construction projects. In fact, in 2015 there were 61 fatalities caused by falls on residential job sites.
That is an increase of 35 fatalities from residential construction sites only four years earlier!
6. Older workers are at a higher risk of fall injuries and death.
OSHA has also reported that workers age 55 and older are at a higher risk of fall injuries and death than other workers.
While older workers are often more likely to fall on the job, it’s important to remember that a fall injury doesn’t discriminate on the basis of age.
Everyone on a job site, young and old, should take precautionary measures to ensure they do not fall.
7. The average worker’s compensation claim for falls is almost $100,000.
Falling from a building that is several stories or dozens of stories can result in significant injuries and medical bill costs.
It can also cause you to miss a significant amount of time from work as you recover from your injuries.
In fact, the average worker’s compensation claim for falls in the construction industry is almost $100,000!
8. In the past decade, more than 3,500 construction-related deaths have been caused by falls.
The math is simple: in the last 10 years, there has been an average of over 350 deaths annually.
Horrifying falling stats like these show that fatalities caused by falls are not a new phenomenon.
Although OSHA issues significant fines for violations of its regulations, the construction industry still has a hard time following the rules.
9. The construction industry is the second leading cause of death in workers under 18 years old.
The construction industry is the second behind the agriculture industry in the cause of workers under 18 years of age.
The agricultural and construction industries are both dangerous places for young employees to be on the job. That’s because a young employee has minimal experience and can work with machinery that puts them at risk.
10. Sixty percent of construction industry injuries occur in the first year on the job.
Six out of 10 injuries in construction take place in an employee’s first 365 days in the industry.
Falls, electrocutions, and other injury causes can be a major threat to workers that do not have a lot of experience on the job. That’s because the construction industry is unique when compared to other professions.
The construction industry has a lot of moving parts – including heavy materials, machinery, and other equipment.
To learn how to use these things properly and safely, this can take time. Unfortunately, even being careful while you are working doesn’t ensure you escape injury in your first 12 months.
Wrapping Up: Shocking Construction Falling Stats
The construction industry presents many different threats to the safety of workers.
But the risk of falling to a serious injury or death while performing construction work is one that may not be worth it.
These shocking construction falling stats are proof that even taking proper safety measures do not guarantee you go home safely at the end of your workday.
Unfortunately, the risk of falling is one of many different risks on a job site. In 2016, OSHA investigated the death of a 48-year-old construction worker in southeast Kansas that made headlines.
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