Deadly Construction Sites

Photograph by Lewis Hine, 1931. Amazingly, it is believed that only 5 people were killed during construction of the Empire State Building. No such thing as OSHA back then!

By Jenny

There are some fascinating secrets hidden behind the world’s most impressive and complex structures. But these constructions also have a dark side. The construction industry has always been one of the most dangerous professions in the world.

For instance, the exact number of people who died while building the Great Wall of China over 2,000 years ago is unknown. However, it’s estimated that it cost the lives of more than one million people. That’s why the Great Wall is also called “the longest cemetery on earth.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that the following “Fatal Four” types of accidents cause a large percentage of worker fatalities:

  • Falls – Construction crews often work high off the ground, which inherently presents a serious fall hazard. This is especially the case when workers are not provided with proper safety equipment, such as harnesses and sturdy railings.
  • Struck by object – Scaffolds and ladders aid work crews in the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures high above the ground. Maintaining balance is challenging enough in this situation, but adding tools and machinery to the mix makes this type of work even more hazardous. Fatalities are typically caused by tools and materials falling from heights.
  • Caught-in / between – There are many moving parts on a construction site including heavy equipment, machinery, cranes and other vehicles. Construction workers can be killed when caught in or between such equipment.
  • Electrocutions – Construction sites are filled with open wiring and unfinished electrical components that pose a hazard to all workers, especially when the electricity is not controlled carefully or the wiring is done incorrectly.

In addition to accidents caused by poor equipment and lack of safety measures, other causes of workers’ deaths over the years include landslides, diseases, and more. Insulation Express put together this infographic which takes a look at five of the most deadly construction sites in history.

Want to learn more about these sites? Find additional detailed information at:

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