— 5 min read
36 Construction Safety Statistics for 2023
Last Updated Oct 25, 2023
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
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
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
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
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
Stay Ahead & Leave Risk Behind
Manage, baseline, and improve your quality and safety program from your desktop and mobile devices.
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.
Learn more: Contractor’s Guide to Jobsite Inspections
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
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
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.
17. Liberty Mutual, Workplace Safety Index 2020: Construction, 2020.
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.
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.View profile
Win More Work
Get discovered for relevant work on the Procore Construction Network.
Explore more helpful resources
Subcontractor management, the overseeing, supervision and coordination of subcontractors, profoundly impacts the overall success of a construction project. This integral piece is usually shouldered by the general contractor, constituting a...
In the fast-paced and complex construction world, effective documentation is not just a bare minimum requirement — it’s a necessity for success. Among the various types of reports generated during...
Due to the high-risk nature of construction work, having a comprehensive construction safety management plan is essential. Construction safety management is the formal process that details how safety plans are...
The construction industry consistently ranks high on the list of the deadliest industries. Dangerous environments and unpredictable factors expose hundreds of thousands of workers to potentially deadly situations on every...