The construction industry is infamous for its accidents, and the so-called “Fatal Four" lead the way year after year. They’re so prevalent that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has special programs just for safety training in these four areas.
So, what specific hazards do workers need to watch out for? They are:
This could happen, for example, when workers believe that power to a building has been cut off. A simple miscommunication could leave that line on when they’re trying to splice in new power lines or install outlets or lights.
Much of the risk here is with heavy machinery and vehicles. It’s not always as simple as a car accident. Workers could be stuck between two machines or between a machine and a heavy load that it’s lifting or repositioning
Struck-by accidents often occur when workers are on the ground and at an elevated height on the same job site. Workers who are installing a window could accidentally drop a tool or the window itself on the workers below, for example, and they may not even know they’re in danger until they’re hit.
People often mistakenly believe that deadly falls have to be from a great height. The truth, though, is that even smaller falls can easily be deadly. A roofer could be killed falling off of a one-story building. In fact, these falls present more dangers in some senses because workers may be more prone to ignore fall protection gear than when they’re 30 stories up and the risks are more obvious.
After a construction accident leads to a serious injury or death, it’s important for workers and their families to know all of the legal options they have. The Fatal Four continue to be an issue, despite OSHA’s efforts.
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Construction Focus Four Training," accessed Oct. 25, 2017