The construction industry suffered 796 occupational fatal injuries in 2013, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics last week. This marks a slight decrease from the 806 total fatal injuries seen in 2012, but a slight increase from the 738 in 2011.
Across all industries, occupational fatal injuries decreased year-over-year from 4,628 to 4,405 in 2013, a nearly 5 percent decrease. Within the construction industry, there were a reported 92 fatal work injuries in residential building construction, and 476 among specialty trade contractors. The construction industry experienced the highest number of fatal work injuries compared to other industries, the same as in 2012.
Here is a breakdown of fatal injuries in construction by event:
The highest number of fatal construction injuries, at 294, was due to falls. Next on the list were transportation incidents, which includes roadway injuries, injuries from other modes of transit, and occupational injuries from being struck by a vehicle. Of all occupational fatalities in 2013, 17 percent involved contractors.
The rate of fatalities in construction decreased significantly from 2012 to 2013, from 9.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, to 9.4 in 2013. This is still a stark contrast to the average rate among all occupations, which was 3.2 in 2013. The rate among construction laborers is highest of all industry professionals, with a reported 212 fatalities at a rate of 17.1 per 100,000.
Here is a look at the decrease of industry-wide fatalities and rate of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers:
While construction persists as the most dangerous line of work, the industry has made significant safety progress over the past decade.