Occupational Health and Safety in the Construction Industry
77% (double that of the general population) of construction worker injuries and illnesses are musculoskeletal related. U.S. Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
- Construction workers have 4 times the risk of work-related injuries and illnesses based on their work than any other industry. U.S. Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
- Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are twice as common in the construction industry and the leading cause of absenteeism, days of work lost, and disability. U.S. Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
- 64% of MSD sufferers thought their condition was worsened by their occupation and 1/3 said their employer was aware but failed to provide adequate support. Occupational Health & Safety
Construction work settings and jobs include (but not limited to):
- General building / construction laborers
- Specialty trade contractors – electricians, plumbers, etc.
- Building construction
- Heavy and civil engineering construction
- Pipe laying
- And many others
The Impact of the Problem
Problem definition: every work activity and setting presents a unique and measurable risk to employees. These risks have an impact on individual health and wellness as well as corporate wellness (profitability, culture, etc.).
Productivity (Indirect Costs)
Lost productivity due to pain costs U.S. companies $297 billion every year (that’s $2397 per employee). U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics
Key Drivers of Lost Productivity
Presenteeism: the practice of coming to work despite illness, injury, anxiety, etc., resulting in reduced productivity.
- Commonly reduces individual productivity by 33% or more. Harvard Business Review
- Injuries and pain are shown to increase presenteeism 79%. National Institute of Health / National Library of Medicine
- Pain conditions associated with sitting, like back pain, arthritis, and headaches, cost $47 billion a year in reduced employee performance. Harvard Business Review
- Overall, presenteeism costs U.S. employers over $150 billion a year due to employees coming to work sick. Center for Health Research Rural Advocacy
- Presenteeism is potentially the single largest contributor to construction workplace fatalities costing 735 lives a year (2 every day). U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics
Absenteeism: missing work due to injury, illness, travel for offsite care, or without good reason.
- Annual costs due to unscheduled absenteeism of construction workers is $1.3 billion.
- U.S. employees go to 558 million doctors’ office visits and spend 1.1 billion hours away from work due to pain alone. U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics
- Overtime is used to cover 47% of employee absences and coworkers are 29.5% less productive when covering for absent employees. Society for Human Resource Management
- Supervisors spend 212 hours per year dealing with absences. Society for Human Resource Management
$171 billion annually ($1,100 per employee) in direct employer expenses incurred as a result of workplace injuries and illnesses.
U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics
Key Cost Drivers
Healthcare Costs: include employer wellness programs costs, insurance premiums, and other direct compensation for healthcare benefits (HSA/FSA, etc.).
- U.S. employers cover an average 70% (that’s $10,762) of healthcare costs for each employee every year.
National Business Group on Health
- The average annual cost of healthcare is $15,375 per U.S. employee and inflating 6.5% every year.
National Business Group on Health
- Employers spend $49 billion per year ($742 per employee) on wellness programs. Global Wellness Institute
- Small to Medium businesses pay 8-18% more for employee healthcare insurance. National Conference of State Legislatures
Employee Turnover: voluntary and involuntary employee attrition costs employers an immense amount of time and money.
- The average cost to (re)hire is $4,129 and takes an average of 42 days. Society for Human Resource Management
- Turnover can cost employers 33% of an employee’s annual salary. Forbes Magazine
- In 2020, 47 million Americans will voluntarily change jobs. Society for Human Resource Management
- U.S. companies spend an average $1,096 to train a new employee. 2018 Training Industry Report
Workers’ Compensation: direct costs of workplace injuries and illnesses, and mandatory insurance.
- Workers’ compensation for musculoskeletal injuries and pain costs U.S employers $20 billion every year. U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics
- The average employer cost of a workplace musculoskeletal injury is $33,000 per claim. Occupational Safety Health and Administration
- The average cost of workers’ compensation insurance construction companies is $5,331 per employee per year ($2.66 per work hour). This is the highest of any industry. Workers’ Compensation Lab
Other Qualitative Costs
Employer costs intuitively associated with poor employee health and wellness, but without a direct correlation to causation argument.
Key Drivers of Other Costs
Reputation: a bad reputation costs companies at least 10% or more per hire. Harvard Business Review
Safety: employers that don’t have effective employee health and wellness programs pay 2-3 times more on injuries and illnesses. Employee Health and Safety Today
Quality: a Gallup Poll revealed that 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work leading to mistakes that cost U.S. companies 20-40% of sales. Six Sigma
Culture: 91% of workers at companies led by leaders that support well-being efforts say they feel motivated to do their best at their jobs. American Psychological Association
The Bottom Line of a BHS Customized Health Assurance Program
In Your Perfect World...
The ideal construction company is not only a “Great Place to Work”, but also profitable and safe where employer sponsored programs are affordable, BEST-IN-CLASS, and effective.
How to Get There...
We have revolutionized corporate occupational health through patented, technology-enabled solutions along with proprietary mobility health treatments trusted by professional athletes. Our scalable, customized solutions effectively address the biggest cost drivers to U.S. employers.