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The Data Doesn’t Look Good for Construction Workers

If you work in construction, no one needs to tell you that your job is dangerous. You already know that you risk your safety every time you go to a job site. You rely on your employer, your co-workers, your superiors and your own diligence to make sure you go home safely every day.

The problem is that, even when everything goes right, things still go wrong. You may or may not be surprised by what the data says about your chances of suffering serious injuries while on the job.

Let’s look at the data on non-fatal injuries first

Before looking at the data on what could cause your death at a construction site, let’s look at some statistics regarding injuries suffered by those who work in the same field as you do:

  • You have a 71% higher chance of suffering a work-related injury in construction than you would in any other industry.
  • Each year, one out of every 10 construction workers suffers some sort of injury on the job.
  • If you are between the ages of 25 and 34, you have the biggest chance of suffering an injury.
  • Strain injuries result most often from carrying heavy objects, lifting, and using a tool or machine.

Even as high as these numbers are, they are still lower than they used to be — maybe. One source estimates that only about half of the serious injuries suffered at construction sites actually gets reported.

Let’s look at the data on fatal injuries now

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that one out of every five construction workers suffers fatal injuries while on the job each year. Construction workers, material movers and transportation workers made up approximately 47% of all worker deaths in 2017. Below are some other statistics related to the deaths of construction workers: 

  • You have more than likely heard of the “fatal four” in the construction industry. In order of the highest percentage of fatalities to the lowest, they include falls, struck by object, electrocution and caught in or between two objects.
  • Construction workers take 51% of all falls that happen in the United States. This number includes every fall that happens across every industry in this country over the course of a year.
  • Construction workers who are self-employed or work for a company with no more than 10 employees make up around half of the fatalities in the industry.

If you work in construction for 45 years, you have a 1 in 200 chance of suffering fatal injuries over the course of your career. Your safety needs to remain a priority by everyone involved in your job, but even if you already have the best equipment, training and safety gear, you could still suffer serious injuries.

If you do, you may apply for workers’ compensation benefits, but you may also want to consider whether a third party could bear some legal liability for your injuries. Defective construction equipment could have led to your injuries. A thorough evaluation of your situation could reveal the potential for a third-party claim filed in a Wisconsin civil court.

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Eric J. Haag

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