- Both the number and rate of nonfatal construction injuries and illnesses fell in 2017 for the second year in a row, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses fell 2.7% to 198,100 in 2017 from 203,500 in 2016, and the rate fell from 3.2 per 100 workers to 3.1 during in the same period.
- Specialty trade contractors had the highest number of recordable injuries and illnesses in 2017 — 130,800, down from 138,000 in 2016 — followed by building equipment contractors, a group that recorded 56,800 injuries and illnesses in 2017, down from 61,700 in 2016. Heavy and civil engineering contractors recorded 24,700 injuries and illnesses in 2017 (26,900 in 2016), while building finishing contractors (drywall, paint, flooring, carpentry and other finishing trades) recorded 23,400 (24,200 in 2016).
- The specific categories with the least number of recordable injuries and illnesses last year were land subdivision contractors (900); siding contractors (1,200); oil and gas pipeline and related structures contractors (1,300); foundation, structure and building exterior contractors (1,400); and tile and terrazzo contractors (1,400).
OSHA requires most employers to maintain information about injuries and illnesses that happen on the job. Construction and other firms must use Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses to record details about incidents, including the name and job title of the employee, where on the job the incident occurred and the circumstances that preceded it. Employers provide even more details on Form 301, the Injury and Illness Incident Report. Contractors also are required to post an annual summary of all injuries and illnesses on Form 300A on each job site.
The construction industry waged a somewhat successful battle against OSHA during the last few years, leading the agency to alter some requirements under its new electronic recordkeeping rule. Construction organizations and employers mostly objected to having to submit forms that contained job and employee details based on privacy concerns but also pushed back against the extra cost burden of compliance they said would be placed on small businesses.
This summer, OSHA proposed a rule that would relieve companies with 250 or more employees to of electronically submitting information from Form 300. They would still have to report the summary information from Form 300A.