According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), certain construction accidents cause death at a higher rate than other injuries. The Fatal Four accidents, as the agency dubbed them, include falls, struck-by object accidents, electrocutions, and caught-in/between injuries. According to OSHA, these accidents caused over 64% of construction-related deaths in 2015. However, certain safety regulations and practices can help construction sites prevent these accidents from happening.
Fall injuries account for almost one-third of construction deaths in the United States. All sites must have certain fall protection mechanisms in place, but some forego safety requirements, leading to increased worker risk. On construction sites, workers can fall for a number of reasons.
These accidents can lead to spinal cord damage, paralysis, brain trauma, broken bones, and other injuries. Construction sites can prevent fall accidents and save worker lives by implementing the following changes.
Workers can face unexpected hazards from falling objects, flying debris, swaying loads, and rolling equipment and vehicles. Struck-by-object accidents are common causes of death on construction sites, catching workers off guard so that they do not have time to react. Workers can suffer from broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord injury, brain damage, and crushing injuries as the result of struck-by accidents.
Construction sites can prevent struck-by-object accidents by implementing the following changes.
Electrocution causes over 300 deaths and 4,000 injuries annually on construction sites. These injuries are very serious, leading to severe burns, internal injuries, traumatic brain injury, kidney failure, and neurological damages. Workers can suffer electrocution injuries due to any of the following conditions.
While OSHA requires all workers to have adequate protection when working near electrical power circuits, some workplaces forego this requirement. Construction sites can reduce electrocution deaths by implementing the following safety standards.
Caught-in and between accidents are the fourth cause of construction-related deaths. In these accidents, two or more objects on the site catch, crush, or squeeze a worker. As a result, workers can suffer from crushing injuries, broken bones, brain and head trauma, limb mangling, and other severe injuries. Vehicles, equipment, and stationary objects can all cause these injuries.
Construction sites can avoid caught-in and between injuries on the job by implementing the following safety precautions.