In the U.S. there were 1,225 fatal occupational injuries in the construction sector in 2001 with an incidence rate of 13.3 per 100,000 employed workers. For the same year the construction industry experienced 481,400 nonfatal injuries and illnesses at a rate of 7.9 per 100 full-time workers in the industry. Construction has about 6% of U.S. workers, but 20% of the fatalities - the largest number of fatalities reported for any industry sector.
The problem is not that the hazards and risks are unknown, it is that they are very difficult to control in a constantly changing work environment.
The leading safety hazards on site are falls from height, motor vehicle crashes,electrocution, machines, and being struck by falling objects. Some of the main health hazards on site are asbestos, solvents, noise, and manual handling activities.
Road construction sites are blocked-off and traffic is redirected. The sites and vehicles are protected by signs and barricades. However, sometimes even these signs and barricades can be a hazard to vehicle traffic. For example, improperly designed barricades can cause cars that strike them to roll over or even be thrown into the air. Even a simple safety sign can penetrate the windshield or roof of a car if hit from certain angles.