Injuries in the construction industry


Construction is a high risk industry and according to the latest Health and Safety Executive statistics the Construction industry accounts for 22% of fatal injuries to employees and 10% of major reported injuries.

Accident at Work

The main causes for fatalities and major injury in the construction sector are:

  • Falls from height
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • being struck by a falling or moving object
  • structural collapse
  • hit by a moving vehicle
  • manual handling and electricity

Common types of injury

Some of the most common injuries to construction workers include fractures, sprains and lacerations to hands, concussion, back and shoulder strains, soft tissue injuries to knees and damage to eyes caused by equipment.

Your right to a safe working environment

Your employer has a duty relating to the Health and Safety on a construction site, and this is governed by "The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007".

In accordance with these regulations employers should ensure that: :

  • There is safe access and egress to a place of work and the place of work should be kept properly maintained
  • It is kept reasonably safe without risk to persons at work
  • No access is permitted to an area that is not deemed to be safe
  • There is sufficient working space, taking into account the equipment present

Furthermore, a construction site should be kept in good order and a reasonable state of cleanliness.

In the interests of Health and Safety, areas of risk should be identified by suitable signs or fenced off, and no timber or piece of material should be used or allowed to remain in place, if the material has projecting nails or sharp objects that could cause injury and or harm.

All structures on a construction site should be made safe so as to ensure that they are not at risk of collapsing, and all traffic routes should be organised, such that pedestrians and vehicles can move safely without risks to health.

It is failure to adhere to these regulations that lead to fatalities, major and minor injury, and that further lead to personal injury claims within the civil courts.

You may be surprised to note that 60% of deaths during working at height involve falls from:

  • ladders
  • scaffolding
  • working platforms
  • roof edges and through fragile roofs or roof-lights.

This can be reduced by having risk assessments, putting in precautions and having method statements in place.

Whilst you will never eliminate all risks on a construction site, you can reduce that risk and reduce the risk of serious and fatal incidents.

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