A look at construction’s fatal four

For construction workers in Pennsylvania, safety risks are everywhere. Injuries can happen from a ladder fall, a scaffolding fall, a machinery accident or something else. The level of danger associated with a construction site accident does also put many employees at risk of being involved in a fatal accident. According to the Occupational Safety Health Administration, while serious accidents on construction worksites can arise out of many situations, there are four factors involved in a large percent of these incidents.

Electrocutions, strikes by objects, entrapment or construction falls are found to be factors in many construction worker fatalities. Referred to as the fatal four by OSHA, these elements were involved in more than 58 percent of all fatal construction accidents nationwide. Details for that year include the following:

  • A total of 874 construction workers died.
  • Falls accounted for nearly 40 percent of all construction worker deaths.
  • Slightly more than eight percent of fatalities occurred in accidents in which workers were electrocuted or hit by objects.
  • Another 12 construction workers died after becoming stuck or trapped on job sites.

The reality of these risks can be seen in the recent report by WTAE.com about the death of a Pennsylvania construction worker. The man became trapped under debris after a trench collapsed on him.

With roughly one-fifth of all fatal workplace accidents in 2014 occurring in the construction sector, the message is clear. Safety matters yet all job sites may not always be fully safe. Accidents can and do happen and unfortunately many even claim lives.