CPWR Releases Comprehensive Construction Statistics

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) released a new edition of its comprehensive The Construction Chart Book – The U.S. Construction Industry and Its Workers. 

If you are seeking a specific construction industry statistic, chances are you can find it in the book. It features 100-plus pages of charts, graphs and explanations of dozens of industry topics, including economics, demographics, and safety.


Silica can be found in numerous common construction site materials, like soil, sand, concrete, masonry, rock and granite. As we have discussed extensively on our blog, exposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause silicosis, lung cancer or kidney disease. Construction workers make up about 2 million of the 2.3 million total workers that are exposed to silica hazards.

OSHA’s recently updated silica standard sets the permissible exposure limit (PEL) at 50 micrograms per cubic meter over an eight-hour day. According to CPWR, about 15 percent of construction workers are exposed at or above the PEL.

Source: CPWR

Injury and Fatality Rates

Among selected industrial nations, the United States had the third highest rate of construction fatalities with 9.7 per 100,000 full-time workers. Only Belgium (10.5) and Switzerland (24.6) had higher fatality rates in 2013. The U.S. non-fatal injury rate was much better compared to other countries. At 1.5 per 100 workers, it was the third best rate. The CPWR though does caution drawing too strong of a conclusion due to differences in reporting standards among different countries.

Returning to just the U.S.,  985 construction workers were killed on the job in 2015, which was 20 percent of the total workplace fatalities in the country. Construction’s fatality rate has also risen each year since 2011, with 9.9 deaths per 100,000 full time workers in 2015. This was rate was nearly three times higher than the average of all industries.

Injury Causes

Mirroring the Top 10 Cited OSHA Violations, falls to the same or lower level caused the most fatalities in the construction industry and was the second leading cause of nonfatal injuries. Almost 22% of these fatal falls occur at a height of more than 30 feet, with roofs and ladders as the most common sources of all fatal falls.

Contact with objects caused the most nonfatal injuries.

Want to help you and your employees avoid becoming a statistic? Register for our OSHA 30 Hour Construction course from March 26-29, 2018. Contact SCT Sales Representative Terri Cantrell at TCantrell@sct.us.com or 440-449-6000, or fill out the contact form below!



Extent of falls in construction revealed by new database

Researchers with the Center for Construction Research and Training (also known as the CPWR) used a new database to find that 42 percent of all construction fatalities involved falls.

Using NIOSH data, the researchers created the Construction FACE Database. FACE stands for Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation. This database helped researchers discover a number of revealing statistics about injuries in the construction industry, according to Safety and Health Magazine. 

From 1982 to 2015, researchers found 768 fatality reports in the construction industry. Of those, 325 (42 percent) involved falls. Moreover, 54 percent of workers killed had no access to a personal fall arrest system, and 23 percent did have access to such a system but did not use it.

Nearly a third of the falls were from 30 feet or higher, and 20 percent of the fatal incidents occurred during the victims’ first two months on the job.

Fall protection routinely tops OSHA’s list of most cited violations, including 2017. Plus, fall protection training requirements was the 9th most cited violations. You can watch our video covering the entire Top 10 list below.

The full study can be viewed here in the Journal of Safety Research, but it does require account to view.

OSHA Top 10 Violations for 2017 Released

At last week’s National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, the NSC released the preliminary OSHA Top 10 Violations list for the 2017 fiscal year.  The data includes violations through Sept. 4.

Once again, general fall protection requirements topped the list with more than 6,000 citations, almost 2,000 more than second-place hazard communication. The top five remained unchanged from 2016, with ladders moving up to sixth and powered industrial trucks falling to one spot to seventh.

Fall protection training is a new entry in the 2017 list, taking 9th place with 1,523 citations. General electrical requirements fell out of the top 10.

The full list according to the NSC:

  • Fall Protection; General Requirements (1926.501) – 6,072
  • Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 4,176
  • Scaffolding (1926.451) – 3,288
  • Respiratory Protection (1910.134) –  3,097
  • Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) –  2,877
  • Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,241
  • Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,162
  • Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 1,933
  • Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) – 1,523
  • Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 1,405

“The OSHA Top 10 is more than just a list, it is a blueprint for keeping workers safe,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman in a news release. “When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.”

The finalized data is set to be released in December 2017.

At SCT, we can help your company identify and eliminate all of these hazards. Whether it’s through on-site workplace audits, complete safety program development, or refresher training for employees and supervisors, our team of experts will help you reach your safety goals.

Contact us today online or call us at 1-800-204-1729.

While you’re here, check out our video below that covers OSHA’s Top 10 Citations from FY2016. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel or Like us on Facebook so you never miss a new video from us.

Fatal Four in Construction: Falls

This week we’re wrapping up our look at the Fatal Four in Construction with a new video about falls.

According to OSHA, falls accounted for 364 deaths in construction in 2015, which was more than all of the other Fatal Four (electrocutions, struck by object, and caught in between) combined.

In the video below, SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters covers many of the common hazards that can result in falls, including ladders and unguarded floor openings.

If you missed Mr. Walters, former Regional Administrator of OSHA’s largest region based in Chicago, in our previous videos covering electrocutions and struck by/caught in between, you can watch all of our Fatal Four videos right here.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss a video from us.

Focus on Fall Protection: The Training You Need

This week, we finish up this month’s Focus on Fall Protection video series. If you’ve missed any of the previous installments, check out the playlist on our YouTube channel.

You can have the best fall protection equipment money can buy, but it won’t do any good if the workers using that equipment are not trained on how to properly use it.

In this week’s video, SCT’s Director of Construction Services Dennis Hobart gives a quick tour of our 32-foot Mobile Training Simulator that can come to your worksite to offer state of the art confined space and fall protection training.


Focus on Fall Protection: How to Properly Fit a Harness

We’re back with another installment in our “Focus on Fall Protection” video series, and this time we’re focusing on how to properly fit a harness.

A harness is an essential component of a well functioning personal fall arrest system (PFAS). Watch the video below to find out how a harness should fit on the body and what type of harness is best suited to your industry.

Properly Fit a Harness

At SCT, we take fall protection training seriously. Falls from heights consistently appear on OSHA’s Top 10 citations list year (2017) after year (2016). As with much of our training, our experts like to take a hands-on approach when it comes to learning how to properly fit a harness.

At our Middleburg Heights, Ohio, location we have a permanent fall protection/confined space training structure that students use during our classes. We also have a 32-foot mobile simulator that we use to bring fall protection and confined space training directly to clients. Our mobile unit includes all the gear and training apparatuses to ensure students leave our classes with practical, useful knowledge on how to properly abate a fall hazard.

For all your fall protection training needs, contact the experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729.

SCT Leads Safety Stand-Down in California

As we continue to recognize this week’s National Safety Stand-Down effort to prevent falls in the workplace, SCT’s General Manager Joe Ventura is onsite in Tracy, CA, creating a safe and secure working environment.

Mr. Ventura led a Stand-Down Event for Lilja Corp. workers, reminding them that the site’s uniform threshold height is six feet. This means that any employee working at six feet or more above a lower level must be protected from fall hazards. Plus, employees need to be protected from falling into dangerous equipment.

Employees were also refreshed on how to choose and use proper fall protection equipment for different work scenarios. Additionally, workers reviewed where fall hazards exist on their particular job site and how those hazards are addressed.

OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor provided this certificate recognizing the proactive safety efforts of Lilja Corp. during this National Safety Stand-Down. SCT is proud to work with companies who recognize the importance of workplace safety and protect their workers with proper safety training and enforced safety policies.

Mr. Ventura also checked in with a Review from the Road video to give a peek into what life is like working in Tracy, CA, this week. If your company’s Fall Protection policies are in need of an update, contact the experts at SCT by calling 1-800-204-1729.