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Construction Accidents and the “Fatal Four”


Construction workers face many hazards when they perform their job duties, especially in certain trades. Heights, electrical hazards, slick surfaces, dangerous machinery and even weather-related problems are some of the risks that construction workers often encounter. Sadly, many construction workers pass away in on-the-job accidents and those who survive often have to deal with debilitating injuries.

It is important for construction workers to understand the “Fatal Four” and the leading causes of construction worker deaths. With a clear understanding of some of the major hazards that are present on construction sites, construction workers can focus on avoiding devastating accidents.

Understanding deadly hazards in the construction industry

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there are four major causes of construction worker fatalities in the private sector, known as the “Fatal Four.” Preventing all of these fatal accidents would save hundreds of lives each year. According to OSHA, 33 percent of fatal construction accidents are the result of falls, 11 percent occur when workers are struck by objects, 8 percent are caused by electrocution and 5 percent occur due to workers who are caught in-between (such as those stuck in equipment or crushed during a structural collapse).

Understanding the consequences of fatal construction accidents

In 2018, more than 1,000 construction workers lost their lives in the private sector, according to OSHA. These deadly accidents often leave families with significant emotional and financial hardships. Furthermore, far more construction workers sustain serious injuries on the job that leave them unable to work. If you were seriously hurt in a construction accident, it is crucial to look into your options, such as workers’ compensation benefits.