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What is the construction industry’s Fatal Four?

Construction work is such a dangerous occupation that the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has constructed a list of the four types of accidents you are most at risk for sustaining that could result in your death.

Called the “Fatal Four,” Construct Connect lists these four types of accidents that cause the most construction deaths as follows:

  1. Falls
  2. Struck-by-objects accidents
  3. Electrocutions
  4. Caught-in and caught-between accidents

Specific accident type statistics

Falls result in 38.7% of nationwide construction fatalities each year. In fact, you have a greater chance of dying in a fall from such places as roofs, ladders, scaffolding or other high surfaces than you do of dying from the other three types of accidents combined.

Struck-by-objects accidents rank second on the list and account for 9.4% of annual construction deaths in the US. The things which could strike you include the following:

  • A falling tool
  • A rolling piece of equipment
  • A flying piece of construction debris
  • A swinging door or other objects

While electrocutions account for only 8.3% of annual construction deaths, these accidents are particularly painful, even when they do not result in your death. Electrocution almost invariably causes severe burns from which it could take you months to recover. Even then, you likely will have lasting disfiguring scars.

Caught-in and caught-between accidents rank fourth on the Fatal Four list and account for 7.3% of annual construction deaths. As their names state, in these types of accidents, part of your body becomes trapped between two unforgiving hard surfaces, such as elevator mechanisms, trenches, excavations, conveyor systems, heavy equipment, etc. Unfortunately, a nonfatal caught-in or caught-between accident often causes you to sustain a crush injury severe enough to result in the amputation of one of your limbs.

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