Construction sites are often a chaotic scene involving many different suppliers delivering materials, contractors working their trade and multiple companies occupying the site working hard to meet deadlines. It is no wonder that construction sites are dangerous. Heavy machinery, heights involved in constructing a building, debris and falling objects are commonplace. While most workers know of the potential dangers, you may be surprised to learn that federal statistics indicate that one in five of all fatal workplace accidents occur in the construction industry.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified what it calls the Fatal Four leading causes of fatal construction site accidents. The safety organization says that eliminating these four types of accidents would save more than 500 lives each year and reduce fatalities on construction sites by 57.6 percent (based upon statistics recorded in 2014).
The Fatal Four include:
- Falls, including falls from scaffolding, ladders and heights
- Fatal injuries related to falling objects
- Caught in/between accidents, including victims being crushed between a vehicle and another object, cave-ins and being caught up in heavy machinery
OSHA offers advice and training information in ways to avoid the Fatal Four. Workers and employers alike can benefit from recognizing the danger signs and taking precautions. The most basic guidelines for safety include:
- Using proper fall protection and ensuring scaffolds are properly constructed
- Ensuring that tools are properly grounded and wired
- Use safe distances when working near overhead lines
- Using safety guards when operating tools and machinery
- Secure objects and tools when working at heights to protect other workers below
- Wear appropriate headgear for protection against falling tools
- Securing equipment and materials
- Be aware of tight spaces, and moving machinery
- Use appropriate safety measures when creating a trench to avoid cave-ins
A wrongful death claim can never replace a loved one. You can help to protect your family from strife taking the precautions you need to preserve your safety.