If you’re a construction worker, it is very important to understand the specific risks that you face on the job. Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration tracks statistics on construction sites all over the United States, and an analysis of these statistics can help to highlight these risks.
The main four dangers that OSHA has identified, often called the Fatal Four, are as follows:
- Struck by an object
- Caught-in or caught-between
As listed above, they are in order relating to the deaths that they cause every year. More than 1,000 construction workers tend to pass away every year, and OSHA says that eliminating the four reasons listed above could save the lives of a staggering 591 of them.
Falls are the most common and, in the most recent study, they accounted for 33.5% of all deaths. Workers who got hit by objects — such as moving parts or falling objects — made up 11.1%. Those who suffered fatal electrocutions accounted for another 8.5%, while those who were either caught in machines or caught between two objects (such as a lift and a wall) made up 5.5%.
While it is clear that the Fatal Four are the greatest risks, remember that many people live through their injuries. That means they are not counted in the above statistics, but they could still suffer major, often career-ending injuries. Falls, for instance, often lead to broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and the like. Don’t just consider the fatalities when considering your own risks.
If you do get seriously injured on a construction site, take the time to look into all of your legal options for financial and medical recovery.