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The Price Of Health And Safety In Construction Industry

The Price Of Health And Safety In Construction Industry

‘Construction sector’ refers to both the construction of buildings and civil engineering works, so it is an essential part of our economic and social life. Every day, millions of people working in the building trade perform a wide range of different tasks. They are exposed to dangerous conditions on the job including sharp edges, unguarded machinery and chemicals and their hands are usually in the front line of attack.


In France, public sector construction workers make up about 9% of all wage earners. But according to the latest statistics available, when it comes to the number of lost-time accidents, they represent almost 18% overall, and, worse, of these accidents, 22% are fatal.


  • 25% of all lost-time accidents involve hands
  • 7% of accidents involving hands lead to permanent disability
  • 14% of all working days lost through accidents are due to hand injuries

Construction has the highest on-the-job danger levels of any industry. It’s unrealistic to hope to eliminate workplace accidents entirely but complying with the legislation in force, improving work methods and wearing personal protective equipment are all sustainable solutions for limiting the number of accidents that may occur.

You can’t put a price on your health

Financial cost of workplace accidents (source: Carsat, France 2011)


  • Building trade: 37.45m euros
  • Transport, water, gas, electricity, press, communications: 23.88m euros
  • Metallurgy: 14.98m euros
  • Wood, paper, textiles, clothing: 6.49m euros
  • Chemicals, rubber: 2.23m euros

Average cost of lost-time accidents (including work-related ill health)

  • Building trade: 3,841 euros
  • Transport, water, gas, electricity, press, communications: 3,837 euros
  • Metallurgy: 2,861 euros
  • Wood, paper, textiles, clothing: 3,704 euros
  • Chemicals, rubber: 3,487 euros

Average cost of occupational accidents causing permanent disability (including work-related ill health)

  • Building trade: 37,297 euros
  • Transport, water, gas, electricity, press, communications: 41,647 euros
  • Metallurgy: 38,516 euros
  • Wood, paper, textiles, clothing: 17,035 euros
  • Chemicals, rubber: 22,734 euros

Even though official figures show there has been a drop in workplace accidents in the building trade, they are still more frequent than in other industries. Most injuries within the construction environment involve the hands and/or arms, and serious accidents or fatalities have a deep social and economic impact on everyone involved: the company, the employer and the employee. So it’s vital to prevent these from happening in the first place. (The data given below is only for France, the figures are similar in all main industrialized countries. Eurostat)


Every year, serious and fatal injuries to workers have a devastating social and personal impact on victims, their families, their colleagues and the company's management. It makes sense for employees to protect themselves all the time, no matter how small the risk. As we all know, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


SHOWA offers a range of gloves entirely created around the different applications and needs around each trade of the construction industry. To make it easier to choose the correct glove, we have identified a range of trade specific gloves grouped into 5 main categories of no more than 15 models. This ensures the number of reference materials is optimized and purchase costs are reduced to a minimum. Grouped by work type, they consider three key factors: work environment, the different hand movements to be performed and the types of protection required.

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