What are the Fatal Four?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2021 | Workplace Accidents

There are likely a number of different factors that attracted you to the construction industry in Louisiana, one of which is the unique environment you ply your trade in. Yet that same work environment is also what makes construction work so dangerous (indeed, the construction industry typically ranks among the most dangerous professions).

You likely do not view your work as dangerous as others do primarily due to your confidence in your employer implementing the appropriate protective measures to keep you and your coworkers safe. Judging from the frequency of safety citations issued to companies in the construction industry, however, your company may not warrant such confidence.

Common construction site accidents

According to workplace fatality reports coming from the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration identifies four main causes of worksite fatalities:

  • Falls
  • Falling objects
  • Electrocutions
  • Cave-in and crush injuries

Dubbed by insiders as “the Fatal Four,” these four causes account for nearly 60% of all fatalities reported from the construction industry. Yet not only are these causes common, but they are also preventable. Your employer can provide fall arrest systems to protect you from falls, trench shield systems to prevent cave-ins, and ground-fault circuit interrupters to safely manage electrical current flow. In addition, it can enforce policies that regulate your ability to work around heavy tools and equipment that mitigate the risk of falling objects or having loose clothing become caught in equipment.

Are construction employers indifferent to these risks?

Yet despite the fact employers can take steps to protect you and your coworkers from the Fatal Four, statistics show that they often fail in this regard. Common safety violations identified by OSHA regulators are often related to these specific threats, which may demonstrate an indifference on the part of your employers and other construction industry practitioners to these risks.