Four factors account for almost 60% of all construction site deaths. The Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA) calls them the Fatal Four.
As dire as that may sound, it’s important to realize that not all construction accidents are fatal. An injury due to one of these reasons could leave you unable to work and in lifelong pain. The more you know about the danger, the better you can take steps to protect yourself.
What are OSHA’s Fatal Four?
Here are the four primary reasons for construction site fatalities and the percentage of deaths they account for:
- 33% of fatalities are due to falls: You might imagine someone high up on a scaffold or roof. Yet, you can fall while on the ground. You could drop into a hole or slip on a wet or greasy surface and land on something sharp.
- 11.5% of fatal accidents involve struck-by injuries: Construction sites are full of movement. Your colleague could turn around while carrying a metal bar and knock you out. The mechanical arm of a digger could swing and hit you. Or a piece of metal or wood could fly and hit you in the head.
- 8.5% of construction fatalities are due to electrocution: Construction sites need electricity to operate. There may also be pre-existing underground or overhead cables. If you come into contact with them while drilling or digging, you could get a devastating shock. If the shock itself does not kill you, it could throw you in the air, which could be fatal if you are on a high platform.
- 5.5% of deaths are due to “caught between” accidents: If a wall falls over, it could crush you. If a vehicle does not see you, it could squash you. If a spool of cable falls, it could roll on top of you.
If you’re injured in a construction accident or your loved one was killed, it is essential to understand how you can seek workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney can help you learn more.