Construction workers know the job is dangerous. It requires working with heavy-duty equipment, being high above the ground and moving heavy objects. Laws and standard practices are there to protect those workers from harm.
But sometimes things go wrong, whether it be a true accident or the result of someone else’s negligence. These incidents can lead to serious injuries or even death. So just how dangerous is the construction industry compared to other lines of work?
The highest number of fatalities
Among specific industries, construction was the most deadly in New Jersey in 2017, according to state figures. There were 69 fatal workplace injuries in the state that year. One-fifth of them happened to workers in the construction industry. The next most deadly industries each accounted for 16% of fatalities that year: transportation and warehousing was one industry, while the other was administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.
The deadliest single occupation was transportation and material moving, where 30% of workplace fatalities occurred in 2017. Construction and extraction was next on the list at 20%.
Construction also has a high rate of injury, illness
Many employees involved in workplace accidents don’t die, however. They could end up with minor or serious injuries, or even an illness caused by the job. New Jersey also tracks these statistics.
In 2017, the rate of injury and illness in construction was on the high side, but not the highest. Among every 100 full-time construction workers in the private industry, 2.5 suffered an injury or illness on the job. Compare that to the incidence rates of a few other industries:
- Manufacturing: 2.9 (cases per 100 full-time workers)
- Mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction: 3.1
- Utilities: 1.4
- Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services: 1.9
It’s clear that accidents on a construction site can have dire consequences. It may result in someone’s life never being the same, potentially requiring expensive medical care and financial considerations.
While accidents do happen, it’s possible another person’s actions directly led to the injury. Maybe there was a poorly constructed catch platform, for example. In these cases, victims and their loved ones may be able to pursue fair compensation through legal action.