Beware The “Fatal 4” In Construction

June 15, 2020
By Glauber Berenson Vego

Construction companies complete projects all across the state, but many of the workers at these job sites are subjected to unsafe conditions. It’s the duties of those companies to ensure that the workers have a workplace that’s as safe as possible.

There are four primary hazards that lead to worker deaths in this industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. By addressing these alone, more than half of construction deaths across the country could be prevented.

  • #1: Falls – Falling from any height accounts for around 36.5% of deaths in this industry. Using proper fall arrest devices and having an established fall prevention protocol can help to prevent these incidents; however, they will only work if employers insist that workers use them.
  • #2: Struck by an object – Being hit by objects, including moving vehicles and falling objects, causes around 10.1% of fatalities in the industry. Employers should have clear guidelines for securing equipment and tools, as well as securing rigging, to help prevent these accidents.
  • #3: Electrocutions – Electrocutions account for around 8.6% of construction worker deaths. Reducing the risk of workers coming into contact with live wires is the primary focus of prevention. Having protocol for working with electricity around water, checking for frayed wires, and avoiding overhead lines is critical. Lockout/tagout procedures are also important.
  • #4: Being caught in or between – Incidents involving workers being caught in or between things account for 2.5% of fatalities in construction. Proper trench procedures and protocols for avoiding moving parts and vehicles can help to prevent these.

Some construction workers will survive these accidents. Those individuals, as well as the family members of those who don’t survive, can turn to workers’ compensation for benefits. Ensuring they get what’s due to them might require assistance from someone who’s familiar with the program.