What Are Construction’s “Fatal Four?”
Every year, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gathers statistics about workplace accidents. The federal agency then uses these statistics to make safety guidelines and reduce future accidents.
Year after year, OSHA identifies the construction industry as one of the most dangerous for workers. In 2018, approximately 20% of worker deaths occurred in the construction sector. The leading causes of these fatalities are known as Construction’s “Fatal Four.”
According to OSAHA, eliminating the Fatal Four would save the lives of 591 American workers every year.
But what are the Fatal Four and how do we prevent them? Keep reading to find out!
Falls cause approximately 33.5% of construction industry deaths and countless additional injuries. When workers fall from heights, they are unlikely to survive, and even slip and falls on flat surfaces can lead to serious injuries and losses.
Employers can prevent falls by:
- Providing fall arrest equipment
- Installing and maintaining perimeter protection
- Covering and securing floor openings
- Labeling floor opening covers
- Promoting safe ladder and scaffold use
Unsafe work conditions are never your fault. Even if you feel like you made a mistake, you can always talk to our lawyers after a construction site fall.
Struck by Object
Whether workers drop materials, employers store tools and supplies improperly, or equipment accidents occur, being struck by an object is dangerous.
You can prevent struck-by accidents by:
- Wearing high-visibility clothes near equipment and vehicles
- Never position yourself between moving and fixed objects
If you are not provided with safety equipment, or you are harmed by someone who does not know how to operate equipment safely, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit or another legal claim.
Construction sites are home to all sorts of hazards, including live wires, unfinished electrical systems, and even dangerous power lines.
Employers and employees can avoid electrocutions by:
- Locating and labeling utilities before starting work
- Keeping an eye out for overhead power lines when operating equipment
- Learning safe distance requirements
- Maintaining a safe distance away from power lines
- Refraining from operating portable electrical tools that are not grounded or double insulated
- Using ground-fault circuit interrupters for protection
- Being mindful of electrical hazards on ladders, scaffolds, or other platforms
You are entitled to work on a safe construction site. Electrical safety should always be part of the job.
Caught-in/between injuries apply whenever construction workers are caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, or struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material. Sadly, workers are unlikely to survive this kind of accident.
To avoid caught-in/between accidents:
- Never enter an unprotected trench or excavation, especially those 5 feet or deeper
- Have an adequate protective system in place
- Make sure trenches and excavations are protected by sloping, shoring, benching, or trench shield systems
Even structures that are under construction should be safe enough to host workers. When employers and third parties fail to protect you, the law is on your side.
Construction Accidents Are Preventable
As you can see, the most serious accidents in the construction industry are preventable. Unfortunately, many construction accidents and injuries continue to occur every year. Sometimes, these accidents are caused by negligence.
If you suffer a serious injury on a construction site or lose a loved one to an accident, Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers may be able to help. With offices in Texas & Illinois, we are deeply familiar with the laws surrounding construction accidents, and we will fight until victory – always.
Our legal team takes our responsibility to restore justice extremely seriously. We use innovative strategies and a personalized, client-centered approach to help you win, and we never shy away from difficult or complex cases.
For attorneys who will fight tirelessly for you, call us at (214) 739-0100 today or contact us online for a free case evaluation.