Injury and Fatal Accident Statistics on Utah’s Construction Industry
The construction industry is one of the most important parts of Utah’s economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 90,000 construction workers in Utah as of July 2016. However, as accident data makes amply clear, the construction industry can also be very dangerous, with multiple workplace injuries and fatalities reported in Utah. If you or your spouse is a Utah construction worker and was recently injured on the job, Salt Lake City construction accident lawyer Darwin Overson may be able to help your family get compensated.
BLS Statistics on Utah Construction Worker Deaths and Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 54 people were killed in fatal workplace accidents in Utah during 2014 – an average of about one fatality every week. The majority of the victims were male (48 people, or 89%), and the highest number of work-related fatalities occurred among employees who were 45 to 54 years old.
Many construction workers happen to belong in both of these high-risk groups. The BLS reports that roughly 90% of people in the construction industry are men, and according to Rob Fox, the vice president of industrial contractor Brahma Group, Inc., roughly 40% of skilled craftsmen are now over the age of 45.
While certain industries carry a greater degree of risk than others, workplace accidents are generally preventable, and should not be accepted as “the norm” – especially not accidents which are severe enough to result in death. Many of Utah’s key industries reported no fatalities at all during 2014, yet its construction industry reported six deaths. That means construction workers accounted for about 11% of Utah’s work-related fatalities in 2014.
Four out of the six construction fatalities involved transportation accidents, such as a car accident in Utah, which is somewhat unexpected as transportation is not one of the “fatal four” hazards identified by OSHA as leading causes of fatal construction accidents. At the national level, it is more common for construction fatalities to occur because of electrocution accidents, falls from heights or slip and fall accidents, being hit by objects, or being accidentally caught in between vehicles or machinery.
None of these “fatal four” hazards were identified as causes of Utah construction deaths in 2014. The causes of the two fatalities that were not transportation-related were not specified by the BLS report.
Construction Industry Has Utah’s Highest Rate of Non-Fatal Occupational Injury
In addition to a high number of fatalities, Utah’s construction industry also has an exceptionally high rate of non-fatal occupational injuries.
According to a report by the Utah Labor Commission, in 2011 the state’s construction industry had a non-fatal injury rate of 4.8 injuries per every 100 full-time construction workers. That’s a higher rate than any other industry (discounting the “other services” category, which had an injury rate of 4.9 injuries per every 100 full-time employees). The construction industry’s non-fatal injury rate surpassed the rates observed in mining, manufacturing, and transportation, all of which are regarded as some of the nation’s most dangerous industries.
This worrying data is not necessarily restricted to Utah – or to non-fatal injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “In 2009, private industry construction workers had a fatal occupational injury rate nearly three times that of all workers in the United States: 9.7 per 100,000 full-time equivalent construction workers versus 3.3 for all workers.”
The CDC also highlighted three types of construction occupations that were all in the top 10 occupations with the highest rates of fatal injury nationwide:
- Laborers (18.3 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time workers)
- Structural Ironworkers/Steelworkers (30.3 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time workers)
- Roofers (34.7 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time workers)
Salt Lake City Construction Injury Attorney Handling Wrongful Death Claims
If you suffered a construction site injury in Utah, or if your spouse or one of your family members was accidentally killed in a fatal construction site accident, you are urged to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. Compensation may be available, which can help provide a measure of financial stability and security as you and your loved ones cope with this difficult time. Depending on the nature of the accident, it may be possible to file a worker’s compensation claim, or you may have a product liability claim if the accident was caused by a defective piece of machinery or equipment.
Utah lawyer Darwin Overson has over 33 years of experience handling personal injury claims in Salt Lake City and beyond. Darwin is proud to represent construction workers in Wasatch County, Summit County, Morgan County, Davis County, Weber County, Salt Lake County, and locations throughout Utah. He offers free initial consultations, and your consultations will always be confidential.
To set up a free and confidential legal consultation with Darwin, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143. Injured construction workers have legal rights – let Darwin help you exercise them.