Fatal Injury Trends in the Construction Industry

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

Silver Spring, MD — The number of construction workers killed on the job reached its highest level in at least nine years in 2019, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Training and Research.

Using 2011-2019 data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, researchers identified 1,102 construction worker fatalities in 2019 – a 41.1% increase from the initial year of the study period.

The increase in fatal injuries was especially pronounced among Hispanic workers, soaring 89.8% over the course of the nine-year period and far outpacing the group’s 55% rise in employment over that time.

Workers in the 45-64 age group accounted for the most fatalities (241) between 2016 and 2019. However, the 65-and-older age group had the highest rate of fatal injuries over those four years, at 22.0 per 100,000 full-time employees – more than double that of the 45-64 age group’s rate of 9.6.

Falls and struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocution hazards – known as the Construction Focus Four as part of an OSHA safety initiative – resulted in 709 deaths in 2019, or 64.3% of all fatalities in the industry that year. Fatal falls to a lower level rose to 401 in 2019 and accounted for 36.4% of all fatalities that year – a 25% jump from the previous year.

Struck-by fatalities were up 7.6% during the study period, including a 21.2% increase in struck-by fatalities involving a transport vehicle. Meanwhile, around 7 out of 10 caught-in/between fatalities involved workers being crushed in collapsing materials.

The numbers of fatal falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds all rose during the study period. In 2019, fatal falls from roofs totaled 146 – a 28.1% increase over the previous year. CPWR advises employers to proactively address fall hazards and provide workers with sufficient protection, such as personal fall arrest systems.

The report was published in the February edition of CPWR’s Data Bulletin.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

MSHA: Deaths among coal miners reach ‘historic low’ in 2020

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Arlington, VA — Twenty-nine miners died on the job in 2020, marking the sixth straight year the annual total has remained below 30, the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced Jan. 13.

Although last year’s fatality total represents a 7.4% increase from the 2019 total of 27, MSHA reports that coal miners represented five of the 2020 deaths – “a historic low.”

Additionally, no seat belt-related deaths were recorded for the first time in MSHA’s 44-year history. The agency also reported all-time-low average concentrations of respirable dust and respirable quartz in underground coal mines, as well as dust and quartz exposure for miners at the highest risk of overexposure to respirable dust.

MSHA credits a diverse educational campaign as a contributing factor for a significant decrease in miner deaths related to powered haulage. Such fatalities represented 21% of the overall total in 2020 after accounting for about half of all fatalities in 2017 and 2018.

In 2020, MSHA “focused on improving safety in several areas, including falls from height and truck-loading operations,” administrator David Zatezalo said in a press release. “We also focused on chronic problem areas such as disproportionate accidents among contractors and inexperienced miners. In 2019, contractor deaths accounted for 41% of deaths at mines. In 2020, they were 28%.”

According to MSHA, about 230,000 miners work in approximately 11,500 metal/nonmetal mines nationwide, while around 64,000 work in about 1,000 U.S. coal mines.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.