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While the causes of accidents in the construction industry have been extensively studied, severity remains an understudied area. In order to provide more evidence for the currently limited number of empirical investigations on severity, this study analysed 24,764 construction accidents reported during 2002-11 in South Australia. A conceptual model developed through literature uses personal characteristics such as age, experience, gender and language. It also employs work-related factors such as size of organization, project size and location, mechanism of accident and body location of the injury. These were shown to discriminate why some accidents result in only a minor severity while others are fatal. Factors such as time of accident, day of the week and season were not strongly associated with accident severity. When the factors affecting severity of an accident are well understood, preventive measures could be developed specifically to those factors that are at high risk.
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