According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data, out of the 4,693 private industry worker fatalities in 2016, 991 were in construction. This means that one in five worker deaths in 2016 were in construction. The majority of these fatal construction site incidences were the result of what has become commonly referenced as construction’s “fatal four.” Consistently, there have been four main causes of death for construction workers in recent years. Here we will discuss the “fatal four” and what construction site employers can do to help minimize injuries and fatalities caused by these kinds of incidences.
The construction industry is a dangerous field of work. If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction job, contact Attorney Michael LoGiudice to explore your legal avenues for recovering monetary compensation.
What are Construction’s “Fatal Four?”
OSHA reports that the top four causes of construction worker fatalities, what has come to be referred to as construction’s “fatal four,” are (with the number of resulting construction site deaths in 2016):
Falls- 384 deaths
Electrocution- 93 deaths
Being struck by an object- 82 deaths
Becoming caught in or between things- 72 deaths
Unfortunately, many of these deaths were preventable if proper safety measures had been taken.
What Can Be Done to Reduce the Deaths Caused by the “Fatal Four?”
Falls: Most fall accidents on construction sites happen due to ladders, scaffolding, holes in walls and floors, and unprotected edges. To prevent these accidents, construction sites are encouraged to employ safety measures such as guardrails. Fall arrest systems and safety nets should also be used and workers should be trained on how to properly use this safety equipment.
Electrocution: Electrocution injuries are usually the result of things like faulty power cords, improper equipment use, and power lines. To reduce electrocution risk, proper protective equipment should always be worn by workers. Construction site employers should also compile a list of all possible electrical hazards present on the site and make employees aware of these risks by posting alerts.
Being struck by an object: With workers and materials present at varying heights on construction sites, being struck by an object is a true and very real hazard. Being struck by an object is also a common result of vehicles and machinery. Use of proper safety gear, wearing high-visibility gear and clothing, and emphasizing to workers the importance of never putting themselves between fixed objects and moving equipment can help reduce the chances of an accident occurring.
Becoming caught in between things: This cause of injury and fatalities includes trench collapses and being caught in construction site machinery and equipment. Again, these types of injuries can be reduced by repeatedly emphasizing to workers the importance of never placing themselves between fixed and moving objects. The more workers are reminded of this, the greater the chance they will remember this important safety tip even in the midst of being immersed in the task at hand.
Fighting for Injured Construction Site Workers.
Attorney Michael LoGiudice has served clients that have suffered devastating injuries from construction site accidents. He is here to stand by and stand up for the injured to help make sure they are properly compensated for all of their losses.