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What are the “Fatal Four” of the construction industry?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2021 | Construction Workers' Accidents |

As a construction worker, no one need tell you that you work in a dangerous industry where you face daily risk of serious injury. But did you know that construction is so dangerous that the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has constructed a “Fatal Four” list of accidents responsible for nearly 65% of construction deaths nationwide?

It’s true. As reported by Construct Connect, OSHA’s Fatal Four list consists of the following:

  1. Falls
  2. Struck-by-objects accidents
  3. Electrocutions
  4. Caught-in and caught-between accidents

Fatality statistics

Falls account for 38.7% of annual nationwide construction deaths. Given that 5,333 U.S. construction workers died in 2019, this translates to 2,063 workers who lost their lives due to falls from roofs, scaffolding, tall ladders and other places where your work requires you to perform your tasks.

Struck-by-objects accidents account for 9.4% of annual nationwide construction deaths. This means that 501 workers died in 2019 as the result of flying, falling, swinging or rolling pieces of equipment, tools or debris hitting them.

Electrocutions account for 8.3% of annual nationwide construction deaths. Of the 432 construction workers who suffered electrocution deaths in 2019, laborers rather than electricians represented the subgroup most likely to die from electrocution.

Caught-in and caught-between accidents account for 7.3% of annual nationwide construction deaths. While this number looks small as a percentage, it nevertheless represents 389 workers who died in 2019 because their bodies became trapped in such things as elevator mechanisms, conveyor systems, trenches or excavations or between pieces of heavy equipment.

It goes without saying that your wisest strategy for protecting yourself from these and other construction accidents consists of always wearing the protective gear your employer provides and maintaining constant vigilance of where you are and what things are around, above and below you.



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