Apr 8, 2021

What Are the Fatal Four?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies four leading causes of fatalities in the construction industry. Known as the “Fatal Four,” the following result in about 545 construction worker deaths in the U.S. each year:

  • Falls
  • Caught in between objects
  • Struck by objects
  • Electrocutions

Nearly all of these accidents are preventable when the right safety precautions are taken. Below, we discuss what you need to know about the Fatal Four in order to eliminate such risks on construction sites.

Falls (36%)

Falls are the most common cause of construction worker fatalities. Working at high elevations plays a major role in falls on construction sites. Specifically, such events can occur from:

  • Scaffold collapses
  • Absence of guardrails
  • Lack of proper signage
  • Failure to wear proper fall protection
  • Unstable walkways
  • Slippery floors
  • Improper use of ladders

Struck by Objects (10%)

Struck-by injuries occur due to forcible contact or impact between a worker and an object or piece of equipment. The four most common types of struck-by object accidents on construction sites include:

  • Flying objects
  • Falling debris
  • Swinging objects
  • Rolling objects

This may include something as small as a hand tool falling off a scaffold or something as big as a crane hitting an individual.

Electrocutions (9%)

Because the construction industry often deals with electrical equipment or electrical work, these workers are at an increased risk of being electrocuted, which may lead to electrical burns or even death caused by damage to internal organs. Some common causes of electrocutions on construction sites include:

  • Power lines
  • Exposed electrical wires
  • Water coming into contact with electrical systems

Caught Between Objects (2%)

These hazards occur when a worker is caught between two hard objects, such as a concrete wall and a piece of heavy machinery. Other incidents may include:

  • Trench collapses
  • Equipment rollovers
  • Building cave-ins

If you or your loved one is injured in a construction accident, you may have legal rights to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Your ability to do so is contingent upon whether you are a full-fledged employee or an independent contractor; you can read our blog here to learn more about this distinction.

At Hansford McDaniel LLC, we have been protecting the rights of injured workers across Georgia for decades. Let us take the burden off of your shoulders so you can focus on getting better.

Contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at 770-922-3660 to schedule your free case review today!