Top 5 Costly Construction Injuries & How to Mitigate Them

Sue Drummond knows that learning new technology can be intimidating and overwhelming sometimes. That's exactly why her role at Harness Software is to teach, guide and customize the fear away. Together with our clients, she sets project priorities, exchanges resources and shares best practices, all in an effort to achieve happier and healthier employees and safer job sites.

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How to...

Last Updated
Mar 03, 2021

Having a fatal accident on your job site is obviously the most tragic situation and the most costly to the employer. However, workplace injuries which cause an employee to miss more than five days of work, while less physically serious, can also come with a costly burden on the employer.

In fact, disabling injuries cost U.S businesses more than $59 Billion per year. This is determined by combining medical and lost-wage expenses, not even taking into account potential fines and insurance increases.

When I was working for a small residential roofing company, one of our Foremen slipped on a small patch of ice while getting out of his truck at the shop and damaged his achilles tendon.

He required months of physical therapy and was told, until he recovered, he could not walk on sloped surfaces. That’s kind of an issue when you shingle roofs for a living.

As the employer, we were required to offer him modified work at his normal rate of pay. Ever paid someone $35 an hour to sweep your shop? All day? For almost a year?

Top Non-Fatal Construction Injuries

Luckily for you, Liberty Mutual Insurance has put together the most costly, non-fatal injuries in the construction industry, and we have summarized them below:


Rank Injury Cost in Billions Percent of Total
1 Falls to Lower Level $2.5 24.1%
2 Struck by Object or Equipment $1.7 16.7%
3 Overexertion Involving Outside Sources $1.48 14.2%
4 Falls on Same Level $1.36 13.1%
5 Pedestrian Vehicular Incidents $0.79 7.63%

How to Prevent The Most Costly Injuries at Your Company

Understanding these risks is only the first step to preventing them on your job sites. You also need to train your employees on how to protect themselves from these hazards.

The best way to do that is by conducting Toolbox Talks on topics which relate to each hazard. We have recommended a few from the Harness library for each injury type below.


Injury Toolbox Topics
Falls to Lower Level Fall Protection Systems

Ladder Set Up & Use

Scaffolding Components

Floor Openings

Struck by Object or Equipment Transporting Hand Tools

Trash Disposal

Compressor Tools

Flying Forms

Overexertion Involving Outside Sources Material Handling

Proper Lifting

Ergonomics

Working on Knees

Falls on Same Level Wet & Icy Surfaces

Tripping Hazards

Unloading Material

Housekeeping

Pedestrian Vehicular Incidents Distracted Driving

Vehicle Hand Signals

Public Traffic Control

Backing Vehicles


Our clients have access to each of these talks in their account, but you can also reach out to your local trade association or even Google them.

Finally, you should make sure your employees are listening and engaged during training so that the information is retained.

Hopefully, by being better prepared for these workplace hazards, you won’t end up with the most expensive shop hand ever.

To read more about how Harness makes conducting Toolbox Talks easy, click the button below.

Toolbox-Talks-

Toolbox Talks

What are the issues with how Toolbox Talks are conducted & how does Harness help?

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