A construction site seems littered with dangers, from large machinery to open foundation holes to beams being moved around overhead. Any one of those could be the cause of construction injuries. As it turns out, however, there are only four main causes of accidents at construction sites.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, approximately 60 percent of construction site injuries in 2011 were cause by just four types, dubbed “The Fatal Four.”
The leading cause of serious death or injury is falls, which accounted for 35 percent of all construction deaths. With constant bending, lifting and moving, it is not too surprising that a scaffolding fall or other similar fall heads the list. Coming next in the frequency according to OSHA is electrocutions. Whether working as an electrician directly or simply being around electric systems being constructed, this type of accident was the cause of nearly 70 deaths in 2011.
The second half of the Fatal Four includes being struck by an object or being caught between objects. Together these combined to account for 13 of all construction deaths during the same period. Flatbed cars, posts, fences and more were involved in such accidents and caused many injuries or worse.
Fortunately for the workers involved in such accidents, the legal system provides them or their surviving families with avenues for recovery. If a construction company was negligent in the safety procedures in place at a work site or failed to adhere to the standards set by OSHA, an injured worked could receive compensation for their injuries.
Though it may seem easy to avoid the Fatal Four, OSHA survey show that these dangers should be taken seriously by both construction companies and workers.
Source: The Daily Herald, “The Fatal Four: Many Construction Deaths Have One of Four Causes,” March 29, 2013