From OSHA’s Austin Regional Office

Updated information on construction related fatalities from 2013 with an emphasis on falls which continues to be the #1 killer.

Subject: FW: Falls in Construction – Stats – I hope this helps

I pulled some information for an interview – thought I would share.

  • The purpose of the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down is to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 291 of the 828 construction fatalities recorded in 2013. Those deaths were preventable. Fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards, during fiscal year 2014.
  • Fatalities caused by falls from elevation remain the leading cause of death for construction workers. Over the last 10 years, more than 3,500 workers have died in falls.

o   [Falls from heights account for 291 of the 828 [291/828 Falls slips and trips – Falls to lower level in final 2013 BLS data, 595/4,585 all industries] construction fatalities recorded in 2013 (BLS). Thousands more were seriously injured and disabled.]

o   [Falls from heights of 6 to 15 feet accounted for 25% of all fatal falls in 2013 (all industries)./ Falls from heights of 6-15 feet accounted for more than 25% of all fatal falls in 2013 (construction).]

o   [Falls from heights accounted for more than 12% of all fatal occupational injuries in 2013 (all industries).]

o   [Fall prevention safety standards were 3 of the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards, during fiscal year 2014.]

o   [The National Council on Compensation Insurance reports that falls from heights in construction can result in such serious injuries that the average worker’s compensation is close to $100,000 per case.]

Fatal falls in the private construction industry, 2003–2013

Reference BLS

May 15, 2015

From 2003 to 2013, fatal injuries in the private construction industry declined by 27 percent. There were 1,131 workplace deaths in construction in 2003, compared with 828 in 2013. This decline resulted in part from the decline in construction employment during the 2007–2009 recession. Private construction deaths caused by falls also declined, from 364 in 2003 to 302 in 2013. During the 2003–2013 period, falls accounted for a stable share of construction deaths, averaging around 35 percent.

Fatal workplace injuries in private residential and nonresidential construction from falls and other events, 2003–2013
YearResidential construction fatal fallsNonresidential construction fatal fallsResidential construction fatalities from other eventsNonresidential construction fatalities from other events

About a third of the 3,820 fatal falls in private construction during the 2003–2013 period occurred in residential construction. Falls, however, accounted for a larger share of fatal injuries in residential construction than in nonresidential construction. About 46 percent of fatal work injuries in residential construction resulted from falls. By comparison, 32 percent of fatal work injuries in nonresidential construction resulted from falls.

Over the 2011–2013 period, 36 percent of fatal falls to a lower level in private construction were from roofs (297 deaths). Ladders accounted for another 24 percent of fatal falls (196 deaths). Scaffolds and staging accounted for 14 percent of fatal falls (119 deaths). The most common height of fatal construction falls over the 2011–2013 period was 11–15 feet (143 deaths). Fatal falls of more than 30 feet were nearly as common (142 deaths).

Fatal falls to a lower level in private construction, by source and height of fall, 2011–2013
HeightRoofsLaddersScaffoldsOther source
More than 30 feet4782661
26 to 30 feet4161013
21 to 25 feet50201220
16 to 20 feet61281821
11 to 15 feet57342032
6 to 10 feet11331722
Less than 6 feet(1)12(1)20
Unspecified height30551524

(1) No data were reported or data do not meet publication standards.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. From May 4–15, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is having a National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

This is only up to March/April for our Region FY 15

4 – Caught in

3 – Crushed by

2 – Electrocuted

17 – Falls

31 – Stuck by

2 – Violence/Homicide

1 – Engulfment

1 – Asphyxia

8 – Unknown/Natural causes/found unresponsive

IndustryFatalitiesPercentSIC Industry Category
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing34.30000-0999
Transportation and Public Utilities912.94000-4999
Wholesale and Trades22.95000-5199
Retail Trades22.95200-5999
Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate06000-6799
Public Administration11.49000-9799
Total Cases:69
Total Fatalities:70

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