U.S. Construction Injury Statistics [Updated 2022]

Posted by Legal Team | 05/9/22 | Workplace Accident

The construction industry is known to be one of the most dangerous industries to work in and reported the most workplace deaths in 2020. The New Mexico construction accident lawyers at Liles White PLLC have handled construction injury cases across the U.S. and understand the complexities of these types of work injury claims. The team at Liles White has compiled the following statistics which give insight into recent data on both fatal and non-fatal work-related injuries in the U.S. construction industry.

Fatal Injuries in the Construction Industry

  • In 2020, 1,008 construction industry workers were killed in construction accidents. This represented 21 percent of all fatal occupational injuries for that year.
  • Of the total 805 fatal occupational injuries from slip, trip, and falls reported in 2020, 368 occurred in the construction industry.
  • 247 fatal injuries from transportation related incidents in the construction industry were reported in 2020. 
  • 153 fatal injuries from contact with objects and/or equipment in the construction industry were reported in 2020.
  • Of the total 1,008 fatal injuries in the construction industry in 2020, 174 were caused by exposure to harmful substances or environments.
  • Of the total 1,008 fatal injuries in the construction industry, 192 fatal injuries occurred in the construction of buildings.
  • 194 of the fatal injuries reported in the construction industry occurred in heavy and civil engineering construction.
  • In the 2020 report on fatal occupational injuries by industry and event or exposure, the leading cause of fatal construction industry injuries were slip, trip, or fall. 
  • 98.2 percent of fatal work-related injuries in the construction industry in 2020 occurred among males and 1.8 percent occurred among females. 

Non-Fatal Injuries in the Construction Industry

  • During the year 2020, 174,100 total cases of nonfatal injuries or illnesses were reported in the construction industry.
  • Of the 174,100 total recordable cases of nonfatal construction injuries in 2020, 74,500 workers had days away from work, 31,900 had days of job transfer or restriction, and 67,600 had other recordable cases.
  • 20,640 cases of nonfatal construction injuries in 2020 involving days away from work were characterized as sprains, strains, or tear injuries, which was the leading nature of injury of all cases.
  • 2020 Non-fatal construction injuries involving days away from work breakdown by nature of injury:
    • Sprains, strains, or tears: 20,640
    • Soreness or pain: 14,190
    • Fractures: 9,710
    • Cuts or lacerations: 7,780
    • Bruises or contusions: 3,470
  • The most commonly affected part of the body from non-fatal construction injuries were back, with 10,450 cases reported and hands, with 9,760 cases reported in 2020. 
  • 2020 Non-fatal construction injuries breakdown by body part affected: 
    • Back: 10,450
    • Hand: 9,760
    • Knee: 6,340
    • Multiple body parts: 6,150
    • Body systems: 5,640
  • In 2020, around 250,000 construction work injuries were medically-consulted which represented 6.25 percent of the total number of medically-consulted injuries in all industries. 
  • 97.1 percent of nonfatal work-related injuries in the construction industry in 2020 occurred among males and 2.9 percent occurred among females.pie chart on non-fatal U.S. construction injuries by nature of illness or injury pie chart on non-fatal U.S. construction injuries by part of body affected

Construction Injury Breakdown by Race or Ethnic Origin

2020 Non-Fatal work-related injuries:

  • White: 31,450 
  • Hispanic or Latino: 18,570
  • Black or African American: 3,290
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 440
  • Asian: 320
  • Not reported: 20,180

2020 Fatal work-related injuries:

  • White: 540 
  • Hispanic or Latino: 378 
  • Black or African American: 58
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 11
  • Asian: 10

Preventable Construction Work Injuries

  • In 2020, 4,113 preventable injury-related deaths were reported.
  • The number of total preventable work deaths decreased 10% in 2020.
  • The number of preventable fatal work injuries in the construction industry decreased from 1,003 in 2019 to 958 in 2020, which represented a 4 percent change.
  • In 2020, the construction industry experienced the highest number of preventable fatal injuries, 28 percent higher than the second highest which was the transportation and warehousing industry. 
  • Around 250,000 preventable construction injuries were medically consulted in 2020. 

Construction Injuries and COVID-19

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there was a 9 percent decrease in total hours worked due to the unforeseen economic disruption, which resulted in a large decrease in preventable work injury deaths.
  • The number of fatal construction injuries decreased from 1,102 in 2019 to 1,008 in 2020. 
  • According to data on work injury deaths per 100,000 workers, there was a 7% increase in preventable construction industry deaths from 2019 to 2020 which was the highest of the industry divisions analyzed.