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What Are Construction’s “Fatal Four?”

Construction sites are among the most dangerous work environments in the world. From heavy machinery to powerful tools to dangerous materials, construction workers tend to suffer serious injuries following numerous types of accidents. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are serious enough to lead to death.

In data from the calendar year 2015, OSHA calculated that 937 worker fatalities, or 21.4 percent of private industry deaths, were in construction. Or, put another way, one in every five worker fatalities for the entire year were in construction.

The vast majority of these fatal incidents – more than 64 percent of the total – can be attributed to four types of accidents. OSHA has dubbed these types of accidents as the “fatal four.”

What are constructions “fatal four?”

  • Falls from height such as ladder falls, scaffolding collapse, falling through temporary flooring, falling off a building or falling down stairs.
  • Struck by an object can include items such as tools, materials or debris that have fallen from a ladder, scaffold or an open level several floors above.
  • Electrocution can result from poorly insulated wiring, ungrounded tools or wet surfaces.
  • Caught-in or caught-between is a category that includes construction workers killed when caught-in or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment or material.

According to the OSHA statistics, eliminating the fatal four would save 602 workers’ lives in America every year. While it might not be realistic to completely eliminate a set of accidents, workers might be able to reduce or even eliminate some dangerous situations by:

  • Remaining aware in all situations
  • Fighting against distractions
  • Ensuring you are wearing the proper safety gear
  • Ensuring you are following the proper safety protocols

If you were injured or you have lost a loved one in a construction accident, it is crucial that you learn about your options for monetary recovery. A personal injury claim can help you avoid future financial peril. Discuss your case with an experienced construction injury attorney as soon as you can.

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Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.

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