Protecting construction workers against ‘The Fatal Four’

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2020 | Injuries |

It is not news to say construction is a dangerous occupation. Your employees work under less than ideal circumstances to meet important project deadlines. 

One key to protecting worker safety is recognizing potential dangers before it is too late. In construction, that often means addressing “The Fatal Four.” 

The numbers 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 4,779 worker fatalities in 2018. About one in five, or 21.1%, were construction accidents. 

Of the 1,008 construction deaths, 58.6% came in “The Fatal Four” categories. They are: 

  1. Falls from heights: 338 deaths (33.5%) 
  2. Struck by an object: 112 deaths (11.1%) 
  3. Electrocution: 86 deaths (8.5%) 
  4. Caught in/crushed by equipment or objects: 55 deaths (5.5%) 

For the year, that is 591 construction workers who lost their lives. The bureau says the danger is higher for employees who work alone. 

The strategies 

Safety programs are an investment, like equipment or property, and as important to your business. A good program can increase the morale and productivity of workers. A bad program leads to accidents, deaths, lawsuits and possible criminal charges. 

Occupational Health and Safety magazine recommends that companies: 

  • Review personal protection equipment, which often is inadequate for the task 
  • Adopt a monitoring system for employees, including those who work alone 
  • Institute and practice emergency response procedures 
  • Encourage employee involvement in safety protocols 

Construction site liability is a complex legal area. Your case often comes down to your word against the testimony of an injured worker. The worker is unlikely to admit any fault. You have to prove that your safety standards were satisfactory. 

The goal 

You recognize that the safety of employees is your legal and moral responsibility. You take every step to assure that your workers are safe from accidents. 

Yet you can still face legal issues after an accident that injures a worker. Protect yourself through safety measures and by following all regulations. 

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