According to the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 63.7 percent of worker fatalities occurring in the construction industry resulted from injuries sustained from one of the “Fatal Four” accidents.
What are the “Fatal Four”?
Falls— According to OSHA, fall protection alone could save more than 400 lives annually. Hazards include openings in walls and floors, unprotected edges of work areas, and improper use of ladders or scaffolding.
Struck by an object—These types of fatal injuries are caused by objects and equipment which may fly through the air, fall, swing or roll and also includes being struck by a vehicle. Struck-by hazards include loads falling from heavy lifting equipment or drivers operating a vehicle with poor visibility or obstructed views.
Electrocution—Work site electrocution hazards are the third most common cause of fatalities on construction sites, with both fatal and non-fatal injuries caused by burns, explosions, electric shock, fires and arc flashes/blasts. Electrocution injuries can be avoided by identifying and warning others of work site dangers, reporting and repairing faulty equipment, and wearing protective gear and clothing.
Caught-in/between—Examples of these types of injuries include a worker becoming caught in or compressed by machinery or equipment or being crushed in a collapsing structure. Injuries can be prevented by taking safety training classes, securing loads and machinery, reinforcing trenches, and paying attention to one’s surroundings at all times.
Many construction site injuries can be prevented by working with safety in mind, being aware of one’s surroundings and using caution when working in dangerous locations.
By working smart and paying attention to OSHA workplace safety standards, 631 lives can be saved annually through prevention of Fatal Four accidents.