Written by: Jesse Minc Portrait Jesse Minc
Photo of an injured construction worker

How Many Construction Workers Die Each Year?

Among all the occupations out there, construction jobs pose the greatest danger. Every year, thousands of construction workers die as a result of injuries sustained on the job.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 4,764 construction workers died in 2020 while performing job-related tasks. These deaths have left families in a state of bewilderment and insurmountable grief. They have not only lost someone they love, but they have also lost their source of income.

The construction industry is known for being dangerous. If you have lost a loved one due to a construction accident, you should contact an experienced construction accident attorney for a consultation.

Fatal Construction Injuries in New York

While OSHA lists the fatality numbers nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has them listed by state. For New York City in 2020, data shows there were 59 fatal work injuries. While the construction industry decreased in fatal injuries from the previous year, even just one fatal construction injury is one too many.

The leading cause of death was due to exposure to harmful substances or environments and slip-and-fall accidents. The graph below shows the number of fatal occupational injuries in New York City.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Fatal Construction Accidents?

While a construction worker can suffer nonfatal injuries, a huge percentage of all fatal accidents are caused by four major types of accidents on construction sites. These include the following.


Falls have plagued the construction industry for years. The typical construction site will have workers high above the ground. One wrong move and they could fall to the ground. Being that high up means there is little chance of survival from these types of injuries.

Additionally, there are elevator shafts, incomplete stairwells, open floors, and other hazards that can lead to deaths in the construction industry. 

Being Struck by an Object

Another danger for construction workers is the potential of being struck by a wide array of objects. Tools may fall onto a worker or hit them from the side when someone else loses control. They can be hit by construction vehicles and equipment or falling material. A construction worker may also accidentally strike themselves with one of these items.


When faulty or exposed wires are on a construction site, workers can be fatally injured. This can also happen with defective or malfunctioning equipment and tools.

Being Caught or Trapped in Something

It’s not uncommon for construction workers to get caught inside equipment or tight spaces. They can get wedged between vehicles and walls or pinned to the ground. This results in crushing injuries, and few survive them.

While these are the most common causes of construction worker deaths, there are other dangerous situations in the construction industry. Scaffolding or ladder accidents and power tool accidents can also lead to catastrophic injuries or death.

In New York City, in particular, construction sites have many chemicals and compounds that pose dangers to workers. While there are standards and regulations for these toxic exposures, property owners, general contractors, and employers are responsible for monitoring the risks to keep workers safe. Unfortunately, not all of them keep up with these standards and expose workers to toxic chemicals such as asbestos, fumes from asphalt, lead, and formaldehyde.

If a loved one was lost because of a construction site accident, contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience representing construction site accident cases. Even for nonfatal injuries, it is imperative to seek representation as safety violations could have played a role in these unfortunate events.

With representation from an attorney, you’ll have a better chance of showing that your loved one’s safety was not paramount. This will help you recover the damages you have suffered including medical bills, lost income and benefits, and pain and suffering. 

Construction Site Owners Are Responsible for Construction Worker Safety

Those who own a construction site must keep conditions safe for construction workers. They must provide proper safety gear including safety nets, restraint systems, fall arrest systems, and guardrails. Some owners may not provide these things to save money. 

Sometimes, these safety measures are in place though they have been neglected to be properly maintained. When that happens, workers’ lives are in danger. This would mean that the construction site owner, general contractor, and employer would be liable for wrongful death. 

If you have lost a loved one due to a construction accident, it is urgent that you speak with an attorney about your wrongful death case. They can help you recover compensation and hold the responsible parties liable for your loss.

Claims for Construction Accidents

Construction deaths leave behind a wake of devastation for families of construction workers. These deaths are preventable, too, so it’s outrageous that we continue to see thousands of tragic and wrongful deaths on construction sites.

If you are the surviving family member of someone who died in one of these types of accidents, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses.

Photo of a man in pain

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in the Construction Industry

For both surviving spouses and dependents of a construction worker who died due to construction accidents, you may be able to obtain a weekly benefit payment. The amount may be one-third or two-thirds of the average weekly paycheck that your loved one brought home.

Workers’ compensation will also cover funeral expenses. These payouts are limited by county though, which is why it’s wise to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney in these situations. You surely have enough to deal with right now as you work through your grief. You don’t need more stress on top of it.

What to Know About Wrongful Death Claims

Besides workers’ compensation benefits, surviving spouses and dependents may be able to gain compensation through a wrongful death claim. The negligence of a third party could have caused or contributed to the death of your loved one, and they can be held liable for damages.

Third parties in this example would include construction equipment manufacturers, contractors, machine or vehicle rental companies, and property owners. It must be determined that they were negligent or reckless, something your construction accident attorney can help you prove to get you the compensation you deserve. 

Why Choose an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney?

The loved ones of construction workers in New York City have the right to pursue justice on their behalf. Sadly, constriction injuries are still all too common, even with safety regulations in place. Unfortunately, many of them are fatal injuries.

Choose an attorney experienced in wrongful death cases by contacting Jesse Minc to help you navigate the workers’ compensation benefits mandated by the law and get compensation from those negligent parties.

Category: Construction Accidents