Identifying the ‘fatal four’ in construction accidents

The construction industry is one of the most fatal in Louisiana and across the United States. In 2015, one in every five worker deaths were in the field of construction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Out of the 4,379 people who were killed in workplace accidents that year, 21.4 percent or 937 died in construction. The leading causes of death in the field of construction are referred to as the ‘fatal four’. Researchers indicate that by eliminating the four major causes of construction site deaths, at least 602 lives would be saved each year. The Hale Law Firm understands that many construction site injuries and deaths are preventable, and that all workers are entitled to work in a safe environment.

Falls are the most common cause of death in the field of construction. Of the 937 people who lost their lives, 364 incidents involved falls. This includes people who fall from significant heights because they were not wearing the appropriate safety equipment or were working on unsupported scaffolding. People are at risk of a fall when they are working at least six feet off of the ground.

Approximately 90 people were killed when they were struck by a falling object. An object that is lying precariously on scaffolding or on an overhead beam may be dropped onto someone’s head below. Electrocutions accounted for 81 deaths, as people may be working with live wires or come into contact with overhead power lines. Finally, 67 workers were caught in between two objects and literally smashed under the pressure.

To learn more about construction accidents, visit our page on worker injury accidents.