What does “fatal four” mean in construction?

Whether construction involves building a multi-story apartment building or improving roadways, there is no doubt that this industry is a dangerous one for California workers. There are countless ways to get seriously injured, or worse, in a construction accident. However, as you may know, some types of accidents occur more often than others.

In 2016, 991 construction workers lost their lives across the United States, reports the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. To further illustrate the risks you and other construction workers face, construction fatalities counted for 21.1 percent of all workplace accident deaths. Four accident types in particular were deemed responsible for 63.7 percent of construction fatalities in 2016. These accidents are known throughout the industry as the “fatal four,” and include the following:

  • Falls
  • Being struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Being caught in or between objects

The fatal four can encompass a broad range of accidents. For example, you might fall from a ladder, tumble down an empty elevator shaft or even trip on equipment littering the workplace. You could get your clothing or a body part caught in moving parts or pinned between machinery and a wall. You might get struck by a construction truck or hit by a tool falling from overhead.

Officials believe that 631 construction workers each year would still be alive if the fatal four were eliminated. Lives may be saved if construction workers observe safety standards. It is also crucial for construction companies to provide the necessary training and safety equipment. Since a workers’ compensation case may be complicated, you should not replace the advice of a lawyer with the information in this blog.

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