Working in construction, it’s important to know the dangers that you could face. There are several significant risks that construction workers face, and they are known as the fatal four.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the fatal four include:
- Struck-by hazards
- Caught-in-between hazards
- Fall accidents
- Electrical hazards
Each of these has the potential to cause a fatal workplace accident.
Struck-by hazards are the cause of approximately 8.4% of all deaths in the construction industry. This kind of hazard includes incidents where people are struck by falling objects. For example, a brick falling from the third story of a building may hit a worker on the head below, which may lead to a fatal brain injury.
Caught-in-between hazards account for approximately 1.4% of all deaths in the construction industry and are also known as “caught-in” or “caught-between” injuries. They include accidents such as getting pinned by a forklift or trapped due to a trench collapse.
Fall accidents lead to a surprising 36.5% of deaths in the construction industry. They are the most common kind of accident, because workers are always at risk of tripping or slipping. Whether there are exposed edges, cracks, unsecured walkways or other issues on a construction site, they could lead to fatal falls.
The final fatal four category is for electrical hazards. These lead to around 8.5% of all deaths in the construction industry and include serious accidents involving electrocution. Construction sites have a higher risk of exposed electrical wiring and other electrocution risks, so it’s important to use lockout and tagout procedures to prevent shocks.
The fatal four could lead to lethal accidents
Unfortunately, the fatal four are more likely to lead to lethal construction accidents than any other kinds of hazards in the workplace. Workers and employers should take steps to minimize the risk of these accidents, but even then, they may still happen. If you lose a loved one in a workplace accident, know that there are legal options that may be open to you, so you can get the compensation you need moving forward.