Spring is just around the corner, and the construction industry is preparing for another busy season in California. As a skilled construction worker, you know that the industry you work in is a dangerous one, but you are proud of the work you do and the safety precautions you observe. Understanding the most common accident types in construction may help you avoid becoming another statistic.
In 2016, 991 U.S. workers suffered fatal injuries in the construction industry, reports the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This accounts for one out of every five employees in all industries. You may have heard of a term called the “fatal four,” which describes four accident types in particular that are responsible for a majority of fatalities in construction. Safety authorities say that if the fatal four were eliminated, it would save 631 lives every year.
The following accident types represent the fatal four, which may endanger your life or those who work with you:
- Falls – Many construction workers fall from scaffolding or unguarded heights, or slip on a ground-level surface.
- Struck by object – Falling or rapidly moving objects or machinery can hit workers and cause a fatal head injury or internal injuries.
- Electrocution – Construction workers face danger from live electrical cables, wiring or faulty power tools.
- Caught-in/between – This pertains to pinning or crushing accidents from moving parts, construction vehicles or trench collapses.
You may be able to help reduce your chances of being in a serious or fatal accident at work by observing the safety standards put in place by your employer and by OSHA. It can also be also smart to stay up to date on safety training and procedures that improve and increase workplace safety. However, even with taking these steps accidents are still possible, especially if your employer does not enforce safety standards or if those in the workplace violate them. After a workplace injury, you could have the right to seek workers’ compensation.