Construction workers' reasons for not reporting work-related injuries: an exploratory study

Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2013;19(1):97-105. doi: 10.1080/10803548.2013.11076969.


Although under-reporting of work-related injuries by workers is recognized as a significant problem in construction and other industries, little is known about the specific reasons for such occurrences. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used in this study to (a) identify reasons why construction workers may choose not to report work-related injuries, and (b) to investigate the frequency of the identified reasons. Twenty-seven percent of a sample of construction workers (N = 135) indicated that they had failed to report a work-related injury. The most frequent reasons given were related to perceptions of injuries as "small" and "part of the job" as well as fear of negative consequences, which may follow injury reporting. These findings are discussed in terms of practical implications. Strategies to overcome these reasons are suggested to decrease the under-reporting of injuries in the construction industry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / classification
  • Accidents, Occupational / psychology*
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data
  • Adult
  • Construction Industry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Injuries / psychology*
  • Perception
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self Report
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*