Deaths among construction workers rose in 2022, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The organization released its annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary (2022) in late December 2023, which showed that 1,056 workers in the construction and extraction industry died on the job in 2022. This was 105 more than in 2021 (951).

BLS also reports that more tradespeople, such as glaziers, died in 2022 than in 2021. Eight hundred and eleven tradespeople died on the job in 2022, compared to 726 in 2021.

Construction suffered the highest number and rate of fatal work injuries over several private industry sectors, including transportation and warehousing, agriculture and manufacturing. Construction’s fatality rate was 13.0 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers in 2022 compared to 12.3 deaths in 2021. However, the rate was lower than farming, fishing and forestry, (23.5) and transportation and material moving (14.6).

Data shows that the most common fatal occupational injuries resulted from transportation accidents, falls, slips or trips, and contact with objects and equipment. Falls, slips or trips precipitated 423 construction worker fatalities.

Overall, there were 5,486 fatal work injuries recorded in the U.S. in 2022, a 5.7% increase from 5,190 in 2021. The report’s key findings include:

  • A worker died every 96 minutes from a work-related injury in 2022 compared to 101 minutes in 2021;
  • Unintentional overdoses increased 13.1% to a series high of 525 fatalities in 2022, up from 464 in 2021, continuing a trend of annual increases since 2012;
  • Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event, accounting for 37.7% of all occupational fatalities; and
  • Suicides increased by 13.1% to 267 fatalities in 2022. This followed consecutive decreases in both 2020 and 2021.

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