Current Issues in Construction Site Safety

June 21, 2021
shelving full of multicolored hard hats symbolizes safety in construction site management

Construction managers have seemingly endless responsibilities, though most would agree that safety tops the list. Capitol Tech, recognizing the importance of safety in construction site management, offers an entire course dedicated to current issues in this field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary from 2019 shows that fatalities in the private construction industry increased 5 percent to 1,061–the largest total since 2007. The construction industry also tops the list for the most frequently cited Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards violations, with fall protection in construction the #1 item on the list.

Construction Safety Statistics

BigRentz pulled together a number of safety statistics in their blog, using information from OSHA, the BLS, and the National Institute of Health (NIH), among other resources. They break down the statistics into four areas: fatal construction industry statistics, non-fatal construction injuries, cost of construction injuries, and safety training statistics.

Under fatal construction industry statistics, the blog highlights that:

  • Each year, 9.7 of every 100,000 construction workers suffer a fatal injury, which is the fourth-highest rate of any industry. (BLS)
  • Falls account for 33% of all construction deaths, and eliminating falls in construction would save more than 300 lives every year. (BLS)

Under non-fatal construction industry statistics, the blog highlights that:

  • Injury rates in construction are 71% higher than injury rates across all industries on average. (NIH)
  • In 2018, there were 195,600 cases of injuries in the construction sector. (BLS)

Under cost of construction injuries, the blog highlights that:

  • The total annual cost of all construction injuries in the United States is more than $11.5 billion. (NIH)
  • The highest-recorded OSHA penalty in 2019 was levied against Purvis Home Improvement Co. Inc: $1,792,726 in fines for violations related to a fatal fall. (OSHA)

Under safety training statistics, the blog highlights that:

  • Over 60 percent of construction accidents occur within an employee’s first year of work, highlighting the need for proactive, high-quality training. (BLS)
  • OSHA estimates that construction companies save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested in safety programs. (OSHA)

According to the BigRentz Blog, “Putting safety first is key in helping to reduce the high rate of injuries in the construction industry, and companies who put safety first save money over time,”. “Everyone benefits from fostering a culture of safety on the construction site, so don’t delay in reviewing your safety protocols now.”

The blog concludes with a look at the state of construction safety in 2021, noting that new technology has helped to improve safety and the importance of education cannot be underestimated.

Knowing the areas of greatest safety risk can prepare construction managers to improve the safety of their own work sites. Capitol Tech’s dedication to educating students on this topic ensures that graduates are aware of everything they can do to ensure their workplace is as safe as possible. Capitol Tech’s course on Current Issues in Construction Safety covers current issues in the construction industry that present unique safety concerns for construction sites and personnel. Emphasis will be placed on understanding current and emergent work exposure issues, such as silica, lead, asbestos and nanotechnology. In addition, topics such as work site automation, robotics, workplace violence, substance abuse, wellness programs and new regulations will be discussed.

Interested in construction management? Learn more about degree programs in Construction, Facilities, and Safety. Many courses are available both on campus and online. For more information, contact