Fatal Four: Most Common Construction Accidents And How To Avoid Them

Fatal Four: Most Common Construction Accidents And How To Avoid Them


Construction is vital to America’s infrastructure, but it also happens to bear one of the most hazardous workplaces. Even though you have the insurance of worker’s compensation, an accident at work will sometimes affect your life in a manner that it can’t fix.

While there are several types of accidents, there are those accidents which OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has dubbed the “Fatal Four” which take lives every year. Here, we’re going to discuss what they are and how to avoid them.

Falls: This is less so about slipping on something or being tripped by something or someone, but more about falling from a scaffold roof, construction area, or some otherwise great height where it would be near impossible for a human being to land safely, let alone alive. Whenever any of these accidents occur, most of them happen due to lack of basic fall protection: guard rail, safety net, and personal fall arrest systems. Most falls are prevented with implementation of the OSHA approved anti-fall systems thus preventing what represents 36.5% of all workplace related deaths.

Electrocutions: Accidents by means of electrocution often occur when there’s exposed wiring or wet conditions around exposed wiring. Strict adherence to OSHA’s electrical safety standards in the workplace are the best prevention measure for this. This includes implementation of OSHA standards in building as well as making use of insulation, guarding, electrical protective devices, and basic safe work practices.

Struck-by object: This accident is characterized by exactly what it sounds like, the event when one is struck by an object that is flying, falling, swinging, or rolling. Many of these accidents occur when an object is ejected by some means of separation, often by handling an object using compressed air. In regarding falling objects, it’s usually a rigging failure or a failure to clear the area when cutting something from a great height. To prevent these accidents, don’t cut corners when handling sensitive equipment and make sure a space is clear when cutting something loose.

Caught in-between: Given the seemingly creative and imaginative scenarios that can occur, getting “caught in-between” is often the subject of jokes, but they’re very serious events. Most of these accidents occur due to events that are out of the control of the worker such as environmental factors or the actions of another person. One could get caught between moving or rotating equipment or get caught in collapsing debris. To avoid this as best you can, maintain both communication with your team as well as awareness of your environment.