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Report: Rate of Fatal Construction Injuries Increased in U.S.

wide view of construction site

Construction is dangerous work, and a new study suggests it has become even more dangerous. According to a new report from The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the rate of fatal construction injuries increased by 11.1% over a 10-year period.

Researchers examined data for the years from 2011 to 2020 from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, a complete count of reported fatal injuries compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Increase seen in rate of fatal injuries

Among full-time equivalent workers, the rate of fatal injuries in construction accidents rose from 9 per 100,000 in 2011 to 10 per 100,000 in 2020. For Hispanic workers, the rate rose from 9.6 to 12.6 over the same period, an increase of 31.3%.

Increases were also seen during that time period among workers under 55 – from 8.1 to 9, as well as males – from 9.7 to 10.8.

The study also found:

  • There was an annual average of 963 fatal construction injuries among workers and 78,000 nonfatal injuries.
  • The leading cause of injuries, fatal and nonfatal, was slips, trips, and falls, accounting for an average of 376 deaths and 22,900 injuries each year.
  • Roofers had the highest rate of fatal injuries in 2020, at 47 per 100,000. They were followed by helpers, at 43.3, and structural iron and steel workers at 32.5.
  • The most common primary sources of fatal injuries from 2018 to 2020 were structures and surfaces (including roofs, scaffolds, and confined spaces) and vehicles (including forklifts, tractors, bucket trucks, and highway vehicles).
  • The most common primary sources of nonfatal injuries from 2018 to 2020 were building materials (including lumber, bricks, tiles, pipes, and ducts).
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were eight fatal workplace injuries in the private construction industry sector in Mississippi in 2020.

It’s common knowledge that construction is a dangerous occupation. Many workers do their jobs high above the ground. They work with brick, concrete, and heavy steel beams. They use heavy equipment and power tools. There are multiple vehicles in use on the site, and the risk of severe injury is high.

Get an experienced construction accident attorney on your side

There are numerous laws and regulations covering the industry, and employers are required to follow specific policies and procedures to help protect workers. Despite this, construction workers are injured every year, sometimes fatally.

When construction workers are hurt on the job in Mississippi, they are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits pay the costs of reasonable and necessary medical treatment, as well as partial wages while workers can’t go back to the workplace. Families of workers who suffered fatal injuries are also eligible for benefits. In some cases involving negligence by a party who doesn't work for your company (e.g., a subcontractor), you may even be eligible to pursue a third-party claim.

But the claims process can be confusing and frustrating. Employers and their insurance companies often challenge claims because they want to pay as little as possible. That’s why you need an experienced work injury attorney who knows how to get results.

At Tabor Law Firm, P.A., we understand the impact a construction accident can have on workers and their families. We build strong cases based on evidence and guide clients through the process to help them get the outcome their case deserves. To see how we can help you, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Our offices are located in Ridgeland and Jackson.

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