CPWR report examines causes of death for current, retired and former construction workers
Silver Spring, MD — Of the nearly 225,000 construction worker deaths recorded in 2020, 60% of those workers were at least 65 years old, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.
Researchers looked at 2020 data from the National Vital Statistics System, which included all causes of death for construction workers – employed, retired or no longer working – from every state except Arizona, North Carolina, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.
Findings show that, among the 224,400 deaths, the majority were non-Hispanic (88%), white (87%) and male (96%).
The leading cause of death varied by age group. For workers 16-34, the leading cause was poisoning and exposure to narcotics and hallucinogens (17%). For those 35 and older, COVID-19 was the leading cause, including nearly 15,000 workers 65 or older. Another 8,700 workers at least 65 years old died of heart disease.
“Although CPWR and others have extensively researched fatal occupational injuries, there is limited information on deaths not on the jobsite among construction workers, even though worksite exposures and tasks may result in lifetime health impacts such as cancers,” CPWR says.
The report was published in the January issue of CPWR’s Data Bulletin.