Fatal Injuries on the Rise for Small Residential Construction Firms

Filed in Labor, Safety and Health by on November 28, 2018 1 Comment

The fatality rate of workplace injuries for construction companies with 1-19 employees has been significantly higher than those with 20 or more employees, according to a study published by the Center for Construction Research and Training.

From 2003 to 2016, construction firms with 1-19 employees accounted for 56.6% of all fatal injuries while employing less than 37% of all construction workers.

The problem is getting worse for smaller construction companies. The fatality rate rose 57% for establishments with 1-19 employees from 2008 to 2016, while the rate decreased by about 30% for establishments with 20 or more employees during the same period.

This increasing gulf between large and smaller builder employers has a sharp impact on NAHB members. According to the most recent NAHB member census, 70% of home builders have fewer than 10 employees.

Falls continue to be the most common cause of fatal injury in construction and the category with the largest discrepancy between small firms and large firms: 74.2% of all falling deaths occurred in firms with 1-19 employees.

Most troubling for NAHB members is the fact that the construction subsector with the highest rate of fatal injury among small companies was residential construction. Nearly 78% of fatal injuries in the residential building subsector occurred at establishments with 1-10 employees, a higher percentage than any other subsector, followed by siding contractors (75.7%) and framing contractors (75.0%).

Home builder safety is a top priority for NAHB. The Safety 365 campaign is designed to provide resources and promote a culture of safety on the home build site. Please use the free safety resources provided by NAHB, OSHA and many other organizations.

For more information about workplace safety, please contact Rob Matuga at 800-368-5242 x8507.

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  1. Tom Brick says:

    Hello Rob,
    I’m pleased to see the continued support for job site Safety especially to residential home builders. Mike Thibodeaux and I still teach our OSHA approved residential 10 hours construction safety training program. We find that as you stated too many small trades do not have training programs and or are of current with the changes to OSHA 1926 standards. We have however found the trades we talk to very interested in learning about the changes and interested in compliance to safe practices. I hope they take advantage of what you and NAHB are offering through your 365 program. Mike and I will also talk up the program as we travel and meet trades across the country.

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