The Fatal Four on Construction Sites

Construction workers operate around dangerous equipment and in hazardous environments on a daily basis. Safety is of the utmost importance at a construction site, as evidenced by the significant regulation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over the construction industry. Here, we want to discuss what is commonly referred to as the “Fatal Four,” which refers to the four most deadly types of accidents that occur at construction sites.

The Fatal Four on Construction Sites

What Are The Fatal Four At Construction Sites?

There are various state and federal agencies responsible for enforcing workplace safety standards throughout the US. At the forefront of these agencies is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Regulators with OSHA regularly make stops at construction sites to look for safety violations, and citations are not uncommon. It is crucial to point out that, even though construction fatalities and injuries have decreased over the years, this is still one of the most dangerous industries in the United States.

OSHA understands the dangerous nature of construction, and they push to enforce stricter safety standards to improve the safety of the workers. However, the causes of workplace construction fatalities are fairly predictable, so much so that the leading causes of these deaths are referred to as the “Fatal Four.” Briefly, we want to list the Fatal Four as well as give information about how construction workers and supervisors can prevent these injuries and deaths:

  • Falls. Falls can occur in a variety of ways in the construction industry. This can happen from one level to the other, or this can include falls that occur on the same level. Preventing falls is crucial for workplace safety in the construction industry, and this can be done by:
    • Wearing fall arrest equipment (safety lines and harnesses)
    • Installing and maintaining perimeter protection
    • Covering any openings in the floor
    • Properly using ladders and scaffolding
  • Struck by objects. Construction workplaces involve significant amounts of heavy equipment, including heavy machinery and vehicles. In order to prevent construction workers from getting struck by these heavy objects, it is important for them to:
    • Wear high visibility clothing when working around vehicles and other equipment
    • Never get positioned in between moving or fixed objects
  • Electrocutions. Construction sites, particularly new construction or remodels, often have electricity that is exposed and could cause significant harm to workers. Preventing electrocution injuries relies on workers:
    • Locating and identifying utilities before starting work
    • Checking overhead power lines when operating any equipment
    • Keeping a safe distance from power lines
    • Not operating portable electric tools unless grounded and insulated
    • Being aware of all electrical hazards when working on scaffolding, platforms, or ladders
  • Caught between objects. Anytime there are heavy objects moving around a construction site, workers can get stuck in between these objects and other heavy equipment or fixed objects at the site. This can lead to major crush injuries. Workers can prevent these injuries by:
    • Not entering into an unprotected trench or excavation area without protective systems in place
    • Never going near moving equipment unless authorized and trained to do so.

Work With an Attorney For Help With Your Case

If you or somebody you love has been injured in a construction accident in the state of Oregon, reach out to our Portland construction accident attorneys immediately. A construction accident lawyer can investigate the incident, determine liability, and help you recover compensation through either a workers’ comp claim or a third-party personal injury lawsuit.