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What are OSHA’s “fatal four”?

Construction workplaces can be dangerous for workers, and some of the injuries that workers suffer can be fatal. Four types of accidents cause the majority of deaths in the construction industry. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has dubbed these accidents ”the fatal four.” What are OSHA’s fatal four of construction accidents?

Falls account for more than one-third of construction site fatalities.

Accounting for 36% of deaths, falls are among the most significant dangers that workers face on construction sites. From climbing ladders and scaffolds to reach a higher portion of a structure to standing on rooftops or upper floors to complete a task, construction workers are often called upon to work in elevated areas.

Falling objects cause one in ten fatal injuries.

The sheer weight of the tools and materials used on construction sites can put workers at significant risk. If these heavy objects fall from a height, the force of those objects can cause fatal injuries, causing 10% of fatalities in the construction industry.

Electrocutions cause nearly one-tenth of fatalities.

When working with power tools or electricity, employers must take special care to keep workers safe. Unfortunately, electrocutions contribute to 9% of fatal construction industry accidents.

Caught between two objects

Just as heavy materials, tools and machinery can endanger workers, being caught between two heavy objects can cause catastrophic injuries. The crushing injuries that result are the cause of 2% of construction industry deaths.

These accidents are tragic, but many are also preventable. OSHA offers guidelines to help employers protect their employees in the workplace. While these guidelines cannot prevent all fatal accidents on construction sites, they can improve site safety and protect workers.