Workers' Compensation blog


Breaking down “the Fatal Four”

On behalf of Mitchell Law Corporation
November 9, 2020

Like many practitioners in the construction industry, your decision to pursue such a line of work may be largely due to the unique environment you get to operate in. Indeed, the construction site offers a great deal of freedom compared to the traditional workplace. Yet as many of our past clients here at the Mitchell Law Corporation can attest to, some of the features of that environment are what makes the construction industry one of the most dangerous.

Statistics do support this fact. You might assume that having that information would better prepare employers to protect you and your co-workers from common hazards. Yet that may not be the case.

“The Fatal Four”

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the most common causes of workplace fatalities in the construction industry include:

  • Falls from heights
  • Injuries from falling objects
  • Electrocution injuries
  • Crush injuries (being caught in or in-between equipment or materials)

Workplace safety industry experts refer to these four causes collectively as “the Fatal Four,” and reports indicate that they account for almost 60% of all construction site fatalities annually.

Again, knowing this might lend credence to the assumption that employers in the construction industry would be in a good position to combat these risks. The fact that these same four problems continue to plague the industry, however, suggests otherwise.

An indifference towards safety risks?

In its listing of the most commonly cited workplace safety violations, OSHA reports that its regulators often issue citations to construction contractors related to Fatal Four hazards (such as inadequate fall protection systems, poorly constructed scaffolding, or inadequate control of hazardous energy). This may suggest an indifference on the part of your employer towards these concerns (and, although possibly inadvertent, the safety of you and your coworkers).

You can learn more about common workplace hazards by continuing to explore our site.

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