Protecting Industry Workers

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America commissioned this study with the goal of taking a deeper dive into existing information on fatalities with an eye towards learning new methods of preventing worker fatalities in the construction industry. The study, conducted by the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech, involved analyzing detailed, confidential fatality reports from 2010-2012 because the industry wants to develop employer-employee strategies to reduce the risk of workers being injured.

The data used in this study are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS’s Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) program 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).

This study is unique and innovative in many aspects. First, the data investigated is current and the findings reflect the most recent trends in injuries in the construction industry. Second, unlike previous studies of BLS data that only considered factors at a high level of categorized data, this study drilled down deeper to capture specifics and the analysis resulted in more detailed and actionable information. Third, advanced analytic techniques were adopted. Compared to traditional statistical analysis, the methods used in this study can handle a greater number of cases with increased accuracy. Fourth, unlike previous studies, the analysis included an emphasis on work zone-related accidents. Regional differences were also investigated for every factor with an attempt to provide more targeted interventions while considering geographic variances. Finally, unlike other portrayals of BLS data, this study provides concrete and actionable recommendations for intervention.

Download the Preventing Fatalities in the Construction Industry Study.

Project Details


April 2017


AGC of America


Research & Data Collection