Construction Responsible for Almost Half of Electrocutions in 2019

Construction Responsible for Almost Half of Electrocutions

Nov. 8, 2022
The Center for Construction Research and Training reports that in 2022, there were 54 fatal electrical injuries in 2020.

While construction workers make up 7% of all US workers, according to a new study from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, the sector is responsible for nearly half of all work-related electrocutions in 2019. 

The report found the rate of fatal electrical injuries in construction did drop from 0.7 per 100,000 full-time workers in 2019 to 0.5 per 100,000 FTEs in 2020.

At 54 fatal electrical injuries in 2020, it was lowest in the ten years that the research has been conducted. But that was still 4.2% higher than in 2019.  In 2018 the record was 87 fatalities.

Looking at the data from 2011-200, the majority of the fatalities (71%) occurred in the specialty trade contractors subsector. Job titles in that subsector include carpenters, laborers, electricians, supervisors or managers of construction workers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With regard to nonfatal electrical injuries in sector there was a small increase from 440 in 2019 to 450 in 2020. The highest number of nonfatal electrical injuries during 2011–2020 was 790 in 2015.

From the perspective of OSHA citations, the number has been fall from 2011 through 2020, with 4,900 electrical citations comprising 6.5% of all construction industry citations reported in 2011. In 2020, there were 1,300 electrical citations.

Penalties also fell from $4.5 million in 2011 to $1.9 million in 2019 and 2020.

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