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—  5 min read

36 Construction Safety Statistics for 2023


Last Updated Oct 25, 2023

Contractor wearing protective hard hat, eyewear, and reflective vest examining clipboard with safety documents

Worker safety is consistently one of the top priorities on any construction project, and with good reason. While technologies for safety and risk analysis tools have made enormous strides in recent years, the building industry remains among the most dangerous in the world. 

Since 2008, construction has experienced more total deaths than any other industry (and that figure doesn’t include fatalities from suicide — of which this industry also has the most). Construction professionals have higher injury rates than most other professions and experience some of the highest rates of alcohol abuse. And if they survive a full career on the jobsite, workers can expect an increased risk of hearing impairment, mobility problems, and respiratory issues. 

Here are 36 statistics about construction safety to put the scope of the problem into perspective. 

Table of contents

Fatality statistics

1. 1,008: Annual number of deaths in construction (2021) 3

2. Construction accounts for 21% of all deaths among US workers (2021) 3 

3. Death rate in construction: 9.4 per 100,000 workers (2021) 2

4. 65.5% of all construction deaths result from a Focus Four incident 8

  • Falls (including slips and trips): 35%
  • Struck-by incidents: 17%
  • Electrocution: 7.6% 
  • Caught incidents: 5.8%
  • All other injuries: 34.6%

5. 1 in 3 fatal falls are from roofs 5

Injury statistics

6. 169,200: Total recorded injuries in construction (2021) 5

7. About 40% of construction injuries result in days away from work 5

8. Average days away from work: 11 (2020) 9

9. Framing contractors have the highest rate of non-fatal injuries and illnesses (2021) 4

10. 56% of construction workers have hearing impairment by the time they reached retirement age (2022) 6

11. 24.2 million: The annual number of hours full-time construction workers were absent due to injury or illness (2022) 18 

Mental health statistics

12. 20%: Percent of male suicides attributed to construction and extraction workers in 17 U.S. states (2015). 11

13. Four reasons why construction workers may not seek care for mental health or substance abuse issues: 19

  • Shame and stigma
  • Fear of judgment by peers
  • Fear of negative job consequences
  • Don't know how to access care

14. 16.5%: The rate of heavy alcohol use among U.S. construction workers in 2012. Construction has the second-highest rate of heavy alcohol use among all industries. 20

Learn more about mental health and tips for managing stress in construction.

Safety inspections

15. 38,100: The average number of annual OSHA inspections in construction (2011 - 2020) 12

16. 70,395: Average number of annual OSHA citations in construction (2011 - 2020) 12

17. $102.7 million: Average annual OSHA penalties (2011 - 2020) 12

18. $2,697: Average OSHA penalty per inspection  (2011 - 2020) 12

19. $1,460: Average penalty per citation (2011 - 2020) 12

20. $156,259: The maximum OSHA penalty for each willful or repeated violation21

21. $8.35 million: The highest OSHA penalty ever issued to a single contractor 16

22. The most common OSHA citation in construction is for failure to provide fall protection (2021) 13

Safety costs

23. $5 billion: The annual cost of construction-related deaths, measured in lost production, lost family income, and pain and suffering 14

24. $7.87 billion: The cost of workers’ compensation direct costs from the top five injury causes in construction. 17

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Safety programs

Contractors currently have training programs on: 10

25. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): 91%

26. Fall protection: 88%

27. Ladder safety: 79%

28. Power tool safety: 75%

29. Noise & hearing protection: 73% 

Percentage of construction firms that: 10

30. Designate competent project safety personnel: 70%

31. Conduct ongoing job safety analysis during construction: 68%

32. Conduct ongoing job hazard analysis during construction: 65%

Impacts of safety programs: 10

33. Ability to negotiate better insurance terms: 78%

34. Willingness of jobsite workers to report unsafe work conditions: 75%

35. Improved standing in the industry: 73%

36. Recordable injury rates: 73%

Safety culture in construction is changing

Construction workers have long had a reputation for stubbornness and stoicism, at times to a fault. Compliance with safety rules — like wearing hard hats and tethers — carried a stigma among some hard-nosed old-timers, often preventing widespread adoption. Fortunately, times are changing in many ways. PPE, safety harnesses, and high-visibility vests seem to be more prevalent — and proudly worn — on more jobsites than ever. 

Today’s construction leaders recognize the impact of investing in a culture of safety — not just on the jobsite, but in the back office as well. Construction software enables construction workers to streamline their processes, with documents such as daily logs, safety reports, and site plans more accessible (and in one place) for project stakeholders. When each employee has a responsibility for safety —whether completing a daily site inspection or analyzing safety performance data to predict future risks — everyone becomes part of the solution. 


1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Commonly Used Statistics 

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Number and rate of fatal work injuries, by private industry sector, 2021 

3. BLS, Fatal occupational injuries by industry and event or exposure, all United States, 2020.

4. BLS, Incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses by industry and case types, 2021.

5. OSHA, Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards, 2011. 

6. CPWR, Hearing Impairment among Older Construction Workers, 2022.

7. BLS, Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, 2021.

8. CPWR, Data Bulletin March 2023, 2023.

9. National Safety Council, Injury Profiles, 2021. 

10. Dodge Data & Analytics, Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2021, 2021. 

11. Center for Disease Control, Suicide Rates by Major Occupational Group 

12. CPWR, OSHA Inspections and Citations in Construction 

14. Midwest Economic Policy Institute, The $5 Billion Cost of Construction Fatalities in the United States, 2017.

15. CPWR, Identifying Opioid Use Among Construction Workers, 2022. 

16. OSHA, Top Enforcement Cases Based on Total Issued Penalty.

17. Liberty Mutual, Workplace Safety Index 2020: Construction, 2020. 

18. BLS, Absences from work of employed full-time wage and salary workers by occupation and industry, 2022.

19. Workplace Mental Health, Mental Health and Well-being in the Construction Industry, 2021. 

20. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder by Industry, 2015. 21. OSHA, Penalties, 2023.


Risk Management



Written by

Jonny Finity

23 articles

Jonny Finity creates and manages educational content at Procore. In past roles, he worked for residential developers in Virginia and a commercial general contractor in Bar Harbor, Maine. Jonny holds a BBA in Financial Economics from James Madison University. After college, he spent two and a half years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. He lives in New Orleans.

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