Individuals who work in the construction industry are usually very hardworking men and women who are willing to accept certain risks as they work. Even though many of the hazards they face are well established, some companies don’t take the necessary steps to keep these workers safe. The onus for worker safety is always on the company, so failing to protect them isn’t acceptable.
There are four specific dangers that account for the vast majority of deaths in this industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has dubbed these the “Fatal Four” because of this.
By an overwhelming majority, the biggest cause of construction worker deaths is falls. This accounts for around 36% of these fatalities. There are many issues that can lead to this type of incident. Unstable climbing apparatuses, failing to use fall arrest devices and unprotected holes are all causes of these accidents.
Second on the Fatal Four is being struck by object, which is the cause of around 10% of the fatalities. These incidents include those involving falling and swinging objects, which are sometimes the result of malfunctioning equipment, failed riggings and shifting materials.
Third on this list is electrocutions. This is the reason for around 9% of deaths in the industry. Exposed wiring, contact with overhead power lines and wet conditions around energized items are some causes of these accidents.
The last thing on the list is being caught in or between objects. This is the cause of around 2% of deaths, and it includes things like trench collapses and workers being caught between moving equipment components.
Workers aren’t always killed in these accidents. These events can lead to serious injuries. In either case, the employee or the loved ones they leave behind should be able to receive compensation for the work-related accident.