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California Construction Accident Statistics

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Posted By DAM Firm | July 10 2023 | Workers' Compensation

The construction industry is growing, with the number of employees within this particular type of workforce increasing significantly over the last decade. Along with this growing area of the workforce comes more injuries. According to information from the National Safety Council, the construction industry experienced the largest number of preventable fatal injuries in 2021.

Here, we want to examine some construction accident statistics available for California. Not all construction accidents result in a fatality. Many result in significant injuries that affect the day-to-day life of victims. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a construction accident injury, you may need to reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance.

California Construction Accident Statistics

What the Data Shows About Construction Fatalities

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 148 individuals lost their lives as a result of either natural resource, construction, or maintenance occupations in the state of California during the most recent reporting year of data on file. If we further break this data down, we can see that 90 lives were lost in the construction and extraction occupations, and 33 lives were lost in the installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.

In 2021, the private construction industry sector had the highest number of workplace fatalities across the state, with 79. However, this was down from 92 the previous year. Out of these incidents, falls, slips, or trips resulted in 33 of the total fatalities. Specialty trade contractors accounted for 42 of the total workplace construction fatalities.

In the state of California, men accounted for 92% of all workplace fatalities in 2021, which is similar to the national percentage of workplace fatalities, where men make up 91% of the incidents. In California during that same year, Hispanics or Latinos accounted for 51% of workplace fatalities, while nationally, this group accounted for 22% of work-related deaths.

Workers aged 25 through 54 accounted for 57% of workplace fatalities in California in 2021. 82% of the workplace deaths that year were of those who worked for wages or salaries, while the remainder were self-employed (in the construction industry, many subcontractors are considered self-employed). 

Non-Fatal Construction Injuries

The total number of non-fatal injuries in the construction industry is reported as injuries per 10,000 workers. For example, in 2021, there were 3.1 total recordable non-fatal injuries per 10,000 construction workers. Breaking these numbers down further, individuals involved in the construction of buildings experienced 2.7 recordable cases per 10,000 workers, those engaged in heavy and civil engineering construction experienced 2.5 total recordable cases per 10,000 workers, and those specialty trade contractors experienced 3.3 total recorded cases per 10,000 workers.

Most Common Non-Fatal Workplace Injuries

Construction workers are susceptible to severe injuries in the workplace. The women and men who work in this industry cooperate in challenging environments and around heavy machinery and tools. Both state and federal regulators have implemented strict guidelines for construction companies and employees to follow when it comes to safety measures. However, injuries still occur. Some of the most common non-fatal workplace injuries that construction workers experience include the following:

These traumatic injuries typically occur rapidly in the workplace, often as a result of a slip and fall, vehicle accidents, or tool mishaps. However, there are other types of injuries and illnesses that can affect construction workers that occur over much longer periods of time, often months or even years. These injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Occupational cancers
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Cardiovascular or neurological issues

Can Construction Workers Receive Compensation for Injuries?

Construction workers will typically be entitled to compensation for their injuries sustained on the job. Nearly every employer in the state of California is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for each employee.

Workers’ compensation will pay for all medical care related to a workplace injury. This includes emergency medical treatment as well as any ongoing medical care, medical devices, and medications needed for the individual to make a recovery. If a workplace injury victim cannot work while they recover, workers’ compensation will typically pay up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage for a specific period of time. If individuals sustain long-term disabilities or permanent injuries, there will typically be additional compensation available, often paid as either a structured settlement or a lump sum.

Unfortunately, construction accident victims who recover compensation through workers’ comp will not be able to receive any compensation for pain and suffering.

There may be some instances where filing a third-party civil personal injury lawsuit is appropriate after a construction injury. Usually, individuals cannot file a lawsuit against their employer or a coworker unless the employer or a coworker was grossly negligent or intentionally caused the injury. Additionally, there may be other parties aside from an employer or coworker who may have caused the injury, including other contractors or subcontractors, manufacturers of tools, or others.

If a construction worker is able to file a third-party civil lawsuit and is successful with their claim, they may be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, all of their lost wages, and even pain and suffering damages. 

There is no set amount of compensation paid for a construction accident claim in California. You should speak to an attorney about how much compensation you can expect for your particular situation.

Call a Construction Accident Attorney for Help

If you or somebody you love has been injured in a construction accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. We understand how challenging it can be to recover the compensation needed through workers’ comp insurance carriers. We also know that it may be necessary to file a civil lawsuit against a negligent party. We encourage you to reach out to a skilled work injury lawyer in San Bernardino who can help you through this process.

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