Fatal occupational falls in the U.S. construction industry, 1980-1989

Accid Anal Prev. 1996 Sep;28(5):647-54. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(96)00025-5.


Death certificate analyses were conducted on all fatal occupational falls occurring between 1980 and 1989 in the United States' construction industry using the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities surveillance system at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research. Fatality rates were calculated by geographic location (region and state), and year of injury. From 1980 to 1989, there were 2798 deaths due to occupational falls in construction, representing 49.6% of all fatal occupational falls across all industries. Most of these incidents occurred among young white males. By geographical location, the highest fatality rates were observed within the subregions of the Southern states in the United States. In observing the time between the date of injury and the date of death, 66% of the fall victims died on the same day as the injury, whereas 5.7% lived more than 90 days before dying. Further research needs to be targeted at what occupations are at highest risk for a fall injury, what circumstances are attributable to these falls, and prevention strategies to reduce fall injuries and fatalities. Research is also needed to explain why there are geographic differences in occupational falls in the construction industry.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / mortality*
  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Architecture*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations
  • United States / epidemiology