Paris 2024: Past and present Olympic construction fatalities

WOBO looks forward to Paris 2024 and thanks SHP for the reminder to maintain positive Health and Safety practises.

Paris 2024: ‘Past and present Olympic construction fatalities indicate we still have a long way to go,’ says health and safety expert

Tokyo 2020 was an absolute spectacle, even without fans. While the Olympics has always had the ability to bring the world together to celebrate sporting excellence, the upheaval and uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that this year was always going to be a bit different. After a spectacular closing ceremony, held at purpose-built Japan National Stadium, it’s safe say that Japan achieved something truly spectacular. But it didn’t come without cost…

In 2017, a construction worker took their own life after clocking 200 hours of overtime while working on the site. And in 2018, a construction worker was killed after an accident involving a crane and scaffolding.

Indeed, the Olympics has a long history of health and safety fatalities.

According to research conducted by Rhino Safety, there have been 116 construction-related fatalities tied to the Olympics in the last 30 years.

70 fatalities were reported during construction of the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Sochi, Russia, marking it as the country with the most deaths in the last 30 years. This puts it ahead of the 14 fatalities recorded for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

And those are only the ones that have been officially reported.

In contrast London 2012 is considered the safest Olympic build in history. It recorded 0 fatalities, with a reported injury rate of 0.17 per 100,000 person-hours – far below the 0.55 building industry average in the UK. The effort lasted four years and was completed on time and under budget.


©2024 All Rights Reserved World Organization of Building Officials.