The fatal four in construction

The fatal four in construction

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. According to the United States Department of Labor, 20 percent of all fatal private workplace accidents occurred in the construction industry. That is a staggering number.

If you work in construction, you should make yourself aware of what OSHA calls the “fatal four.”These four on-the-job hazards cause over half of all fatalities. Knowing what to watch out for and how to protect yourself can keep you safe.

1. Fall hazards

Falling is the number one reason construction workers suffer injuries or die on the job. In 2017, falls accounted for just shy of 40 percent of all injuries and deaths. OSHA recently released its list of the top safety citations it handed out in 2018. The top of that list was no coincidence: fall hazards.

Too many workers do not obey safety standards put in place to protect them. Donning harnesses that tether workers is one of the simplest measures you can take to help stop this accident.

2. Object strike hazards

A distant second on the fatal four list is the striking accident. This involves machinery, tools, etc. striking a worker. Securing items in and around the worksite cuts down on these incidents. Proper training on vehicle operation and safety standards can also alleviate vehicle and heavy equipment strikes.

3. Electricity hazards

Electrocution has the third highest incident rate in construction. This painful and often fatal accident is easily preventable. Observe standing water and do not operate any type of handheld tool near it. Keep extension cords maintained and discard any that show signs of fraying.

4. Wedge hazards

This last one seems odd, but it occurs more frequently than you may think. Workers can get squeezed or stuck between two or more objects. Poorly maintained trenches account for quite a few of these incidents. Misdirected equipment and unsafe practices add to the hazard.

When working on a construction site, use common sense. Obey safety standards even if they make like a little more difficult. It is worth not suffering an injury.