Fatal Fact # 4: Wednesday and Thursday Are Deadly

April 6, 2017

Fatal Fact Number 4: Almost 75 percent of construction industry fatalities from 2010-2012 occurred between Monday and Thursday. Friday was a bit safer, and the weekend (6 percent on Saturday and 5 percent on Sunday) was the safest over all.

Source: AGC's Preventing Fatalities in the Construction Industry

What You Can Do:

  • Review company data to determine whether there are fewer workers on Fridays, yielding fewer fatalities, or if Fridays are, in fact, “safer”.
  •  Make workers aware of the daily risk of injury or death. Use communication media to dispel the myth that certain weekdays are safer than others. Workers need to be vigilant every day because the risk of dying on the job is approximately the same during the week (before Friday).
  • Contractors are encouraged to benchmark their company data against these national statistics and explore how and why their results are similar or different.

The Associated General Contractors, with the assistance of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech University, undertook a comprehensive study of every construction fatality that took place over a three-year period. The report, Preventing Fatalities In The Construction Industry, released April 4, is designed to help construction firms prevent workplace fatalities and injuries. 

AGC's chief executive officer, Stephen Sandherr, said, “We all share a common goal: getting to zero construction fatalities. This report offers the kind of data and recommendations needed to help construction firms achieve that goal.”

The AGC study looks at regional differences, and show the most recent trends of injuries in the construction industry. Some new data reconfirms previous trends, but other current data show a number of long-held industry safety assumptions are no longer valid. For example, while prior research indicated most construction fatalities occur in the morning, in fact noon is the deadliest hour in construction.

As 239 of the 358 metro areas charted by the government added construction jobs between February 2016 and February 2017 - with more to come as this year progresses - now is a good time to use AGC's findings to review and reinforce existing safety practices, and consider reconfiguring those that are out of step with the new data.

The AGC study also offers actionable recommendations to help contractors develop safety practices to keep their workers safe. We will feature AGC's findings and recommendations in a short series over the next few weeks.  

* The data used in this study are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) program which provides annual information on the rate and number of work related injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries, and how these statistics vary by incident, industry, geography, occupation, and other variables. These data are collected through the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).