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Roofers and painters had highest rates of nonfatal falls to a lower level in 2016

July 31, 2018

Earlier this year we wrote about jobs that require climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. In many of those occupations, workers suffer nonfatal workplace injuries from falls to a lower level resulting in days away from work. For example, roofers, painters, carpenters, and electricians incurred injuries and illnesses from falls to a lower level at rates much higher than the rate for all workers.

Rates, number of cases, and median days away from work of nonfatal falls to a lower level for selected occupations, 2016
Occupation Rate per 10,000
full-time workers
Number of falls
to lower level
Median days
away from work

All workers

5.1 57,530 19

Roofers

86.9 840 20

Painters, construction and maintenance

75.0 1,330 3

Carpenters

36.6 2,130 44

Heating and air conditioning mechanics and installers

36.3 950 22

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

32.3 5,140 33

Construction laborers

31.6 2,470 30

Maintenance and repair workers, general

26.8 3,120 27

First-Line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

24.1 1,260 90

Electricians

21.3 1,170 50

Roofers and painters were the most at risk to suffer nonfatal falls to a lower level in 2016. The rate for roofers was 86.9 cases per 10,000 full-time workers; the rate for painters was 75.0 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. Their rates far exceeded the rate for all workers combined of 5.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had the highest number of falls to lower level, and their rate was 32.3 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers needed the most time away from work to recover when injured in falls to a lower level. They were away from work a median of 90 days. Construction laborers fell at a higher rate than their supervisors but took fewer days away from work, a median of 30 days. For all workers who suffered nonfatal workplace injuries from falls to a lower level in 2016, the median number of days away from work was 19.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program and include workers in the private sector and government. To learn more, see "Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses — 2016." The Occupational Requirements Survey has data on the physical demands, environmental conditions, education and training, and mental requirements for jobs in the United States.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Roofers and painters had highest rates of nonfatal falls to a lower level in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/roofers-and-painters-had-highest-rates-of-nonfatal-falls-to-a-lower-level-in-2016.htm (visited November 14, 2019).

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