19 Intriguing Workplace Safety Statistics and Facts You Need to Know

May 25, 2023
By N. Nicholas, ASP
workplace safety statistics and facts

I want to dive into some eye-opening workplace safety statistics and facts that every safety manager or construction professional should be aware of. 

By looking at these statistics and facts, you can gain valuable insights that will help you enhance your safety programs, identify potential risks, and take proactive measures to prevent workplace accidents. 

1. 22% of all non-fatal injuries in the United States are due to Overexertion

Overexertion can result from lifting heavy objects, repetitive motion, or working in awkward positions. Employers should implement proper training and ergonomic practices to prevent overexertion injuries.

Source: National Safety Council

2. In the construction industry, falls are the leading cause of fatalities

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls accounted for 36.5% of construction worker fatalities in 2019.

This highlights the importance of fall prevention measures such as proper use of fall protection equipment and scaffolding.

Source: OSHA

3. Each year nearly 2 million American workers report incidents of workplace violence 

Ranging from physical assaults to harassment. Employers should implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention programs, including employee training, awareness campaigns, and clear reporting procedures.

Source: US Department of Labor

4. 5% of all workers in the manufacturing industry faces the risk of exposure to hazardous substances

This could be exposure to harmful chemicals, dust, or fumes. Companies should provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and enforce strict safety protocols to minimize exposure risks.

Source: National Library of Science 

5. Transportation incidents remain a leading cause of workplace fatalities

Whether it’s highway accidents, pedestrian collisions, or accidents involving forklifts and other vehicles, transportation incidents account for a significant number of work-related deaths.

This mean you should prioritize driver safety training and implement strict traffic management protocols.

Source: National Safety Council

6. 80% of workers says they feel stress on the job

A big portion of workers feel stress on the job, with around half of them needing help in managing it. Focus on promoting work-life balance, providing resources for stress management, and fostering a supportive work environment.

Source: OSHA

7. Electrical hazards pose a serious risk in many industries

Electrocution and electrical burns account for a significant number of workplace injuries and fatalities each year. Ensure that electrical systems are properly installed, maintained, and that employees receive adequate training on electrical safety.

Source: CDC

8. In 2021 Employers reported 2.6 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses 

Many workers develop chronic illnesses or conditions due to exposure to hazardous substances or poor workplace conditions. For example, prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, a form of cancer.

Basically, prioritize regular health and safety assessments and implement measures to minimize exposure to harmful substances.

Source: BLS

9. Bad ergonomics can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)

MSDs, such as back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis, affect millions of workers each year. Provide ergonomic workstations, promote proper lifting techniques, and encourage regular breaks to prevent these injuries.

Source: OSHA

10. 42% of workplace incidents were burns

Fires can result from various factors, including faulty electrical systems, improper storage of flammable materials, or lack of fire safety protocols.

This mean you should have a comprehensive fire prevention plan, conduct regular drills, and ensure that employees are trained in fire safety procedures.

Source: National Library of Science

11. Construction workers face exposure to harmful noise levels. 

Prolonged exposure to excessive noise can lead to hearing loss and other auditory disorders. All employees should be provided with hearing protection devices and implement engineering controls to reduce noise levels on construction sites.

Source: ResearchGate

12. Overly sleepy employees are 70% more likely to get injured on the job

Sleepy workers are more prone to making mistakes and experiencing reduced reaction times, increasing the risk of workplace accidents. Promote healthy sleep habits, implement shift scheduling strategies that reduce fatigue, and encourage open communication about fatigue-related concerns.

Source: Sleep Foundation

13. The agriculture sector experiences a high rate of fatal accidents 

Farming and agricultural work pose various risks, including machinery accidents, exposure to harmful chemicals, and incidents involving livestock. Prioritize safety training, regular equipment maintenance, and proper handling of hazardous substances to protect workers in the agricultural industry.

Source: CDC

14. Companies could be fined $156,259 per violation that was Willful or Repeated

Non-compliance with occupational safety regulations can lead to significant fines and legal consequences for employers. It is crucial to stay updated on safety regulations, conduct regular inspections, and ensure compliance to avoid costly penalties.

Source: OSHA

15. Safety training programs have a big impact on workplace safety

Studies have shown that companies with robust safety training programs experience fewer accidents and lower injury rates. As an employer, invest in comprehensive safety training for all employees, including new hires and ongoing refresher courses.

Source: ResearchGate

16. Safety is taken seriously by employees only if the leaders do 

When leaders prioritize and actively participate in safety initiatives, employees are more likely to follow safety protocols and engage in safe behaviors. Leaders should lead by example, encourage open communication, and empower employees to take an active role in safety.

Source: Frontiers

17. Bad communication was a factor in 70% to 80% of all accidents over the last 20 years 

Lack of clear communication channels, misunderstandings, and failure to relay critical safety information can lead to hazardous situations. Establish effective communication systems, provide safety briefings, and encourage employees to report safety concerns without fear of reprisal.

Source: University of Minnesota

18. 9.4% decline in injury rates when regular safety inspections are done

Identifying potential hazards and proactively addressing them is crucial for maintaining a safe work environment. Make sure to conduct routine safety inspections, involve employees in hazard identification, and promptly address any safety concerns.

Source: PubMed

19. Having a emergency response plans save lives

Being prepared for emergencies, such as natural disasters, fires, or medical emergencies, is essential for minimizing harm and ensuring a timely response.

Develop and communicate emergency response plans, conduct drills, and provide training on emergency procedures to all employees.

Source: Ready.gov

By using the Safelyio’s toolbox app as part of your safety training program, you can address many of these workplace safety challenges effectively. 

The app’s comprehensive safety toolbox talk library, mobile accessibility, centralized record-keeping, and continuous improvement updates can help you create a safer work environment and reduce the risk of workplace accidents.

Prioritizing safety training and leveraging technology are key steps toward protecting your employees and building a strong safety culture.

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