Focus on the Construction Industry’s “Fatal Four” Accidents
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Fri Feb 2017
- Construction Accident,
Here’s an alarming fact. According to OSHA’s 2015 statistics, one in five work-related deaths were employed in the construction industry. The numbers are enough for OSHA to dub certain accident types as the “fatal four.”
Construction workers are not the only ones at risk for on the job fatalities. In that same year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported tractor trailer drivers as the profession that experienced the most workplace deaths. Almost always, the fatalities were related to motor vehicle crashes. But, what about construction accidents? What are the fatal four?
Breaking Down the Fatal Four Construction Accidents
First, it should be noted that not all on the job deaths in the construction industry are enumerated in the fatal four. However, more than sixty percent are part of OSHA’s fatal four. The following list is written in order of occurrence:
- Struck by Object
- Caught-in/between by equipment or other objects
Obviously, several trades are considered part of the construction industry. Laborers are just one of them. Some others included are ironworkers, carpenters, plumbers, bricklayers, electricians, glaziers, welders, and masons. The list of contractors is extensive and relative to the needs of the construction job.
Some of the categories that make up the fatal four are self-explanatory. Nonetheless, let’s examine them a bit further.
Construction Accidents Involving Falls
The most common fatal construction accidents involve falls. In 2015, they accounted for over 38% of all on the job deaths for someone working in the construction trade. Of course, not all falls result in fatalities. Workers who survive falls are often faced with permanent injuries. According to one resource, the rate of nonfatal construction accident falls was higher than all other industries combined.
Of course, the higher the worker is situated, the more likelihood of serious or fatal injuries. That’s not to say that a tradesman can’t be hurt by even a short drop. Employees are encouraged to use proper safety gear to avoid the risk of falling.
Workers Struck by Objects
Flying objects pose one risk on construction sites. It could be as simple as a tool falling off a beam and crashing into another worker’s head. Construction employees may also suffer fatal injuries when they come in contact with heavy equipment, such as cranes and trucks. Different types of material can go flying and cause serious harm.
Electrocution on Construction Sites
The risk of electrocution is not just not limited to electricians at job sites. Unfortunately, active power lines pose hazardous conditions. Injuries do not always result in fatalities, however. Workers can suffer severe and painful burns. They may also fall as a result of electrical contact. Lastly, some construction industry employees may find their exposure to cause electric shock.
Caught-in/between by Equipment or other Objects
equipment and/or other objects. Once again, heavy machinery represents a risk. Excavation and OSHA has put together an excellent report concerning the hazards of being caught-in or between trenching are tasks that represent potential hazards. These are just basic examples of accidents that can result in fatalities.
You May Have More Than One Claim
If you lost a loved one to a fatal construction accident, you might have more than one type of accident claim. The same is true if you survived your injuries. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney concerning your legal options.
At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we have worked with both workers’ compensation claims and cases against third parties. (You can read more about the latter, here.) We are happy to provide answers to some of your legal questions. Contact us to set up an appointment.