Construction is prevalent in the Bay Area and across California. There are many positives to this, including the number of jobs it provides and the solid pay and benefits the workers receive for that work. Still, there are inherent dangers with any type of construction work and, after a construction accident, it is imperative that workers and their families understand what steps are needed to get workers’ compensation benefits. Having a grasp on the statistics for a work-related accident in the construction industry can be critical.
Recently released statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the injury rate has remained relatively steady regarding construction accidents and the subsequent injuries, albeit with a slight uptick. In its report for injured and ill workers, there were more than 199,000 non-fatal construction injuries in 2018. That was a rise of less than 1% from 2017. This increase comes after there were consecutive years of reductions. For every 100 construction workers, there were three injuries or illnesses. In 2017, that was 3.1 for every 100 workers. For the past five years, there has been consistent improvement in this area, from 3.6 for every 100 workers in 2014 to the latest totals.
There was a 3% reduction in injuries leading to workers missing time on the job. Since workers missing time generally indicates a more severe injury or illness, this is viewed as a positive for worker safety. Unsurprisingly, given the nature of the work, there is a higher rate of non-fatal injuries of construction workers than for all other private employers, which had 2.0 for every 100 workers. In total, there was a rise of 23,000 for non-fatal injuries and illnesses across the spectrum. That increase was less than 1%.
Although any reduction in non-fatal injuries is a good step, that does not mean workers and their families should be complacent with protective strategies. Construction is a rewarding job, but there are significant dangers as well, including the possibility of falling from a great height, being injured when using large tools, having an accident with construction vehicle and slipping and falling, among others. These injuries can lead to medical expenses, permanent damage and the inability for the person to return to the same type of work. It could leave them unable to work at all. Workers’ compensation can help construction workers or any kind of worker after being injured in a work-related accident or incident, especially those in high risk occupations like construction.