OSHA's "Fatal Four" Construction Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is tasked with creating and enforcing workplace safety standards in the private sector, as well as reporting on any workplace accidents that do occur. Throughout the years, it has found quite consistently that the majority of employee deaths and severe injuries in America occur in the construction industry. 2015 statistics collected by OSHA showed that more than 20% of all worker fatalities were suffered by construction workers or someone on a construction site.
OSHA data goes a step further, though, narrowing down the primary causes of fatal construction accidents. It has labeled the top four causes the “fatal four” of construction accidents for their high rate of incidence.
The OSHA “fatal four” construction accidents are:
- Falls: Roughly 39% of all construction accident deaths involve a worker falling from a considerable height. In 2015, this number amounted to a total of 364 construction worker fatalities. Preventative measures that could help reduce the number of falls each year include more training in scaffolding creation, better materials for scaffolding, and safety equipment to prevent falls like clips, pulleys, and hoists.
- Struck by object: Falling objects or objects thrown through the air by a great force, such as a bolt blown loose by a bursting pipe, account for nearly 10% of all construction accident deaths, or 90 people a year. Supplying construction workers with better safety equipment, namely hardhats, could feasibly prevent a great number of struck by object deaths.
- Electrocution: Nearly 9% of construction accident fatalities are caused by electrocution. Upwards of 81 workers a year will be fatally struck by electricity from faulty wiring, defective transformers, and other electrical hazards. Not all construction workers who are electrocuted are electricians assigned to the wiring of the project, some are merely working near the hazard. Every employee who works near a source of electricity on a construction site should receive extensive safety training to reduce the number of electrocution deaths.
- Caught-in/between: Construction workers who must work with large machinery and heavy equipment are put in particularly dangerous situations. When a machine breaks down, a worker may need to physically climb inside to repair it, or place their entire arm into it. Machinery defects or the negligence of another worker may spur the machine into action, resulting in a caught-in/between death, which OSHA reports as the cause of about 7% of construction worker fatalities.
Have you been seriously injured in a construction accident due to someone else’s negligence? Did you lose a loved one in an OSHA “fatal four” accident? The Pittman Firm, P.A., headquartered in Panama City, takes construction accident cases all around Bay County. You can call (850) 784-6997 to connect with our Florida personal injury lawyer and figure out if you have a valid claim during a free case evaluation. With our help, you may be able to collect a recovery that helps pay for medical costs, missing wages, and more.