Construction’s Fatal Four Hazards
The construction industry is vital to the growth of our nation. From homes to large plazas, construction workers build the structures in which we live and work. However, construction work is also one of the most dangerous professions, one that results in a high number of injuries and deaths annually. According to the Occupation and Safety Health Administration (OSHA), an average of 775 construction workers die every year.
The “fatal four” are the most common causes for construction accidents: falls, struck by objects, electrocution, and caught-between accidents. These four hazards make up approximately 57% of all construction accidents. Experts predict that if these four dangers were eliminated, an average of 435 American construction workers’ lives would be saved each year.
If you or a loved has experienced a serious injury at a construction site, contact our premier construction accident attorneys. We fight for people throughout Texas and the nation, including the cities of San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Laredo and Corpus Christi.
Falls occur when a person loses balance or motor function and collapses as a result. Although some falls have no lasting effects, the dangers of construction work can make falling especially perilous. According to OSHA, falls account for 36.5% of construction worker deaths.
There are precautions that can be taken to prevent falls. Some ways to protect yourself are:
- Using fall protection equipment (guardrails, safety nets, etc.)
- Using ladder safety
- Getting the training necessary for a safe working process
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure safe working environments. They are required to inspect any scaffolding used, to provide training, and adhere to appropriate safety regulations. If you or a loved one has suffered a fall due to your employer failing to meet standards, contact us today.
Stuck-By Object Hazards
A struck-by hazard incident occurs when an object collides forcefully with a worker. Since construction sites use heavy equipment with moving parts, employees can be hit on the job.
There are four primary types of struck-by objects:
- Flying objects
- Falling objects
- Swinging objects
- Rolling objects
It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that all vehicles, tools, and equipment are up to code. They must also provide the proper training to ensure that all the workers know how to use the equipment and how to function in a construction environment. Employers much also ensure that all safety and health protocols are upheld.
Electrocution, when a worker is exposed to high levels of electricity, is extremely dangerous. Construction employees who work with wires and cables are especially prone to an electrocution accident. Coming into contact with electricity can cause severe burns, shocks, fires or even explosions. OSHA states that there are approximately 71 deaths a year due to electrocution accidents.
It is the employer’s obligation to:
- Ensure the overhead line is safe
- Provide proper grounding
- Provide appropriate training
- Make sure equipment is maintained properly and safe to use
Electrocution can cause severe injuries that can affect your quality of life. If you employer failed to follow protocol that resulted in you getting hurt, contact our construction attorneys today.
The final hazard is caught-between dangers. This generally includes a person getting a part of their body or their whole body trapped, squeezed or stuck between two objects (equipment, parts of machine, etc.). On average there are at least 21 deaths per year that result from caught-between dangers and even more injuries.
Some caught-between hazards include:
- Machine parts that are not properly covered
- Machinery that is not properly locked or maintained
- Getting buried during cave-ins and collapses
- Getting pinned between heavy vehicles
Employers should safeguard their workers from potential caught-between risks. They can do this by ensuring that all equipment is properly covered and maintained and generally make that the working environment is safe for construction workers.
At Wyatt Law Firm, we understand the pain and suffering that construction hazards cause. If you or a loved one has suffered due to dangerous working environments, contact our construction attorneys today. We give our clients a voice. Contact us today to learn your rights and take the first steps to getting your life back.