April 6, 2016

Construction Accidents: Avoiding the “Fatal Four”

Categories: Negligence, Workplace Injuries

Most people take construction workers’ jobs for granted. Construction workers are responsible for all of the office buildings, homes, and roads making up our cities, but we seldom realize the great dangers they face every day on the job. If you or a loved one works in construction, you already know that this is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Thousands of construction workers are injured or killed on the job every year.

Some types of worksite accidents are more common than others. According to EHS Today, the worst construction accidents are called the “Fatal Four.” Officials estimate that if the Fatal Four were eliminated, 435 workers each year would be spared. The following points explain the Fatal Four, as well as ways to avoid them.

• Falls. Falls account for the majority of construction accidents. Wearing safety harnesses, constructing scaffolding properly, and covering openings to shafts or holes in roofs or multi-level flooring may prevent falls.
• Caught between objects. Getting pinned by construction vehicles or moving machinery may be prevented by taking steps to remain visible to vehicle operators, keeping your distance from moving parts and shutting down machinery when necessary.
• Electrocutions. Proper grounding or de-energizing procedures when working with electric cables or wiring may prevent fatal shocks.
• Struck by objects. Heavy objects that fall from heights and moving machinery parts are two of the ways you might be hit by objects on a construction site. Work helmets might help in some cases. Other protective measures include putting up barriers to protect people working nearby and being cautious when entering areas where heavy parts are in motion.

Federal safety standards are required on job sites to protect workers. In a great number of cases, accidents occur because of safety violations. Your employer might be liable for your injuries if safety standards were not enforced, training was not given to employees, or safety equipment was not made available. Call Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore to discuss your options if a construction accident has impacted your life and to learn about your rights. Our experienced Tampa OSHA lawyers can help.

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