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Workers Compensation: What Are the Most Common Construction Injuries?

Construction is essential to building and maintaining our roads, homes, schools, businesses and shared public spaces. Construction crews and teams are crucial to keeping our infrastructure growing and maintained. It’s also a massive part of the American economy. In 2021, the U.S. construction industry was valued at $1.589 trillion. 

While the construction industry’s importance to our economy and everyday life can’t be understated, neither can the risks and dangers of working in the profession. Unfortunately, every year, the construction industry accounts for many workplace fatalities and major injuries. 

If you work in construction and have been sidelined due to a work-related injury, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your injury. Visit our workers’ compensation practice area page to learn more about our experience. If you want to learn more about the most common construction injuries, keep reading.

Construction Injury Statistics – A Quick Look at the Numbers 

When discussing the most common construction injuries for workers, we want to look at nationwide construction injury statistics and data within our home state of Missouri. A quick dive into the numbers will paint the background for how prevalent these injuries are in the workplace, especially compared to other career paths.

According to an article by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, the private construction industry accounted for 1,008 fatal work injuries in the United States. This number makes up 21.2 percent of the nation’s total work-related deaths in the United States. The same article stated that the construction industry was responsible for 174,000 workplace injuries and illnesses, which was 6.7 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses.

In Missouri, the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations Division of Workers’ Compensation oversees work-related injury and fatality reports. According to the Department’s 2021 annual report, the construction industry was responsible for: 

  • $26 million in total benefits payouts
  • 16 fatalities 
  • 564 injuries that required disability benefits – Including temporary total disability (TTD) and temporary partial disability (TPD)
  • 962 injuries requiring medical costs – Accidents that required medical care but didn’t require disability benefits
  • 2,343 incident-only or unknown incidents – Accidents that are reported to the department of workers’ compensation, even if they didn’t require payment or medical follow-up

The construction industry is dangerous and has the numbers to back it up. Incidents can happen in a moment and leave you out of work. While there is no complete list of every type of injury you can sustain at a construction site, there are a few of the most common injuries that occur.

Most Common Construction Injuries and Causes

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the following incidents were the four leading causes of fatalities in the construction industry in 2019:

  1. Falls (40.5%) – Generally referred to when describing a fall to a lower level during construction work.
  2. Struck-by accidents (15.4%) – These incidents happen when something falls on a worker but can also include accidents where workers are struck by a vehicle if they are working roadside.
  3. Electrocutions (7.2%) – These incidents occur whenever a worker experiences an electrical shock at the site.
  4. Caught-in/between accidents (5.4%) – These incidents can include the worker getting trapped by a collapsing structure, caught in large machinery or caught between large pieces of equipment. 

According to another report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls were the most frequent event in nonfatal injuries. Falls to another level were the number one cause of injury. 

Tips for Preventing the Most Common Construction Injuries

Now that we’ve had a chance to review the most common construction injuries, let’s explore prevention and safety measures you can take to avoid suffering a devastating injury while on the job. Here are our top tips:

  • Follow listed safety protocols and procedures. While safety protocols may seem like overkill when you’re trying to complete a job, they are essential for you to stay as safe as possible. 
  • Take breaks when needed. Learning your limits is critical to maintaining your body’s health. Make sure to take any breaks that are provided in your job.
  • Wear PPE and make sure it fits properly. Your personal protection equipment (PPE) is vital to minimizing the effects of any potential incidents on the job site. While construction can be dangerous, wearing PPE can help reduce your chance of injury. Not only should you wear PPE, but your PPE must also fit properly. Your employer should provide equipment that is suitable for the job. 

Excellent Representation for Construction Workers’ Compensation

If you’ve been injured in construction work, you deserve fair compensation. If your claim has been denied or you don’t think you’ve received fair compensation for your injury, contact the team at Eng & Woods Attorneys at Law today.

Our knowledge, experience and grit help us deliver favorable results to our clients who need compensation as they recover from injuries or the loss of a loved one. Want to see our body of work? Visit our verdicts and settlements page to see how we’ve helped countless clients get the compensation they needed.

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    1000 West Nifong Boulevard, Building 7
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    Columbia, Missouri 65203
    Phone: 573-874-4190
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