The construction industry makes up over 20% of all deaths on the job in the private sector. In order to raise awareness about the dangers of this industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a so-called “fatal four” that causes nearly two-thirds of work fatalities for construction workers. They are:
Falls: 33% of deaths on a worksite involve falls and make up more than all the other following categories combined. It may involve falls from roofs, scaffolding, ladders, down flights of stairs, or through floor openings.
Struck by objects: 11% involve things making forcible contact or impact with a worker. The objects can fall, swing, roll, or fly before striking the worker. It often is caused by a falling piece of equipment or construction materials.
Electrocution: 9% of fatalities involve electricity. It involves lethal amounts used for powering major worksites. The electricity can shock, but it also may arc through air, flash, cause explosions, or ignite a fire. High levels of electricity can create high-temperature burns and injuries related to extreme heat. Injuries can involve burns to the skin, damage to tendons or organs.
Caught: Rather than getting struck by an object, 6% of fatalities involve situations where the worker is caught, squeezed or stuck between objects. It involves one moving and one stationary, or two or more objects moving, a combination of them. Often this involves large or dangerous pieces of equipment.
A good place to start
These four categories are a good place for site supervisors and construction companies to focus. Training and education can make for safer worksites even when it involves construction. It also consists of providing all necessary safety equipment to workers and then updating it as necessary. Often, co-workers or faulty equipment caused the fatal injuries.