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Addressing Accidents in Construction: How Many Construction Workers Die Each Year

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The latest United States Department of Labor construction death statistics show how many construction workers die each year, that is, approximately 4,764 construction deaths for the year 2021. The leading cause of death construction workers face is different for each part of the world. In this article, we will discuss what is the leading cause of death on construction sites in the USA, and what happens if your contractor dies in a construction site accident. Discover the leading cause of death in construction industry and learn what employers can do to protect workers from construction site accidents. Get valuable insights now from our experienced construction accident lawyers.

4 Main Causes of Death in the Construction Industry 

In construction the leading cause of death is the four types of accidents that happen at construction sites. They are commonly referred to as the fatal four. These four types of accidents are; 

They are commonly referred to as the fatal four. These four types of accidents are:

  1. Falling accidents

Fall accidents comprise the leading cause of construction deaths. According to the statistics by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 30% of fall accidents at construction sites resulted in deaths. OHSA has a safety standard protocol that is essential to be followed by workers at construction sites to avoid fall accidents. Statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show falls as the leading cause of construction-related deaths and injuries, almost one-third (approximately 36.4%) of construction deaths happen due to falls. 

  1. Struck-by objects

Flying, paddling, falling, or rolling objects from heavy machinery, manual operations, etc cause fatal injuries to workers at construction sites. In recent years, the deaths due to struck-by accidents have decreased to 15.4% from the previous years due to improvements in health and safety measures.

  1. Electrocution

Electrocution from poorly insulated surfaces, wires, slippery or wet floors, and machines that run on high electric current contributes to fatalities at construction sites. It is the third leading cause of death in the construction industry. Fortunately, the number of electrocution deaths on construction sites has decreased to 7.2% between the years 2018-2020.

  1. Caught-in/between 

Sometimes the workers are caught between heavy machinery and massive fixed structures. In the event of an accident, they don’t have sufficient escape space and it results in fatalities. Most of the caught-in-between accidents happen due to the lack of adequate safety measures at the workplace for construction workers.

How to Prevent Construction’s “Fatal Four”

The fatal four make the construction industry the most hazardous industry, and many worker deaths occur at construction sites each year due to these four causes. However, there are ways that can be employed to reduce the risk that comes with the construction’s “fatal four”. These measures are:

  1. Falls: Through adequate, advanced, and up-to-date training programs, employers can ensure the prevention of fall accidents at construction sites. Equipment like safety harnesses, safety nets, guardrails, scaffoldings, and ladders can prevent the workers from falling down., and such types of equipment should be regularly checked for maintenance. 
  2. Struck-by objects: Wearing high visibility clothes and reflective colors at the workplace can help to reduce the risk of struck-by object accidents at construction sites. 
  3. Electrocutions: All electric equipment and machinery must be properly labeled, and all wires should be grounded to keep the workers safe from getting electrocuted. Workers should wear personal safety equipment at all times on duty. 
  4. Caught-in/between: The best strategy to avoid caught-in/between accidents is to ensure safe entry and exit points are always present. Such points must always be regularly examined to ensure no blockage is present. 


In conclusion, accidents can happen anywhere but construction sites are more accident-prone than any other industry. Four types of accidents – falls, struck-by objects, electrocutions, and caught-in are the leading cause of construction deaths. However, by ensuring proper safety measures and training, such accidents can be prevented. In busy cities like Kansas City, it is especially crucial to be up-to-date about all safety measures if you are a construction worker. If you have been in a construction accident or lost your loved one to a construction accident, consulting the construction accident lawyer is the first step in the right direction.

Jason Royce Allen

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