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Construction deaths due to falls, slips, and trips increased 5.9 percent in 2021

May 01, 2023

The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction runs from May 1 through May 5 and highlights fall hazards and fall prevention in the construction industry. In 2021, nearly 1 in 5 workplace deaths occurred in the construction industry. Just over one-third of construction deaths were due to falls, slips, and trips. Of these, almost all were from falls to a lower level. The construction industry accounted for 46.2 percent of all fatal falls, slips, and trips in 2021.

Number of fatal work injuries in the construction industry by selected event or exposure, all ownerships, 2017–21
Event or exposure 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

Total

1,013 1,038 1,102 1,034 1,015

Total falls, slips, and trips

389 340 418 371 393

Falls to lower level

367 321 401 353 379

Falls on same level

17 16 12 9 11

Within the private construction industry, specialty trade contractors account for most fatal falls, slips, and trips. Among specialty trade contractors, fatal falls, slips, and trips increased from 229 in 2018 to 245 in 2020 and to 281 in 2021. (Data on fatal falls, slips, and trips for detailed construction industries were not published in 2019.)

Number of fatal falls, slips, and trips in private construction industries, 2018, 2020, and 2021
Industry 2018 2020 2021

Specialty trade contractors

229 245 281

Construction of buildings

89 83 91

Heavy and civil engineering construction

16 20 10

In construction of buildings, the number of fatal falls, slips, and trips decreased from 89 in 2018 to 83 in 2020 and then increased to 91 in 2021. The number of fatal falls, slips, and trips in heavy and civil engineering construction increased from 16 in 2018 to 20 in 2020 and then decreased to 10 in 2021.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more about fatal injuries, see “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2021.” We also have more charts on fatal work injuries.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Construction deaths due to falls, slips, and trips increased 5.9 percent in 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/construction-deaths-due-to-falls-slips-and-trips-increased-5-9-percent-in-2021.htm (visited May 26, 2024).

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