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Construction's "Fatal Four" - OSHA's Most Common Jobsite Fatalities
Each employer has an unshakable responsibility to provide adequate and constant protection of workers and employees at jobsites, offices, retail stores, and virtually any place of employment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks the causes and numbers of workplace accidents and injuries, and knows all too well the serious and often life-threatening dangers that can arise when safety is not made to be the number one priority. Throughout the years, OSHA has noted that more than 20% of all workplace fatalities occur on construction sites, and that within these fatal accidents, four comprise 64% of them all. This has become known as the OSHA Construction "Fatal Four".
The "Fatal Four" are:
- Falls: More construction workers lose their lives each year due to falling from dangerous heights than for any other reason. An estimated 40% of all construction site fatalities – 364 in 2015, to be precise – were due to fatal falls. Better scaffolding and safety harnesses, as well as improved safety standards on jobsites, could have likely prevented all of these deaths.
- Struck by object: When an object, such as a tool, bolt, or small piece of debris, falls on a construction site, it poses an extreme hazard to anyone below. Without effective hard hats, even a small bit of metal that plummets could hit someone at a velocity that causes a fatal injury. "Struck by object" accidents account for nearly 10% of all construction site fatalities.
- Electrocution: Construction site workers not given proper training or equipment to conduct electrical work at put in extreme risk of death. Many industrial projects require voltages and power sources much higher than what would be found within a residential or commercial environment. The briefest moment of electrocution at such intensities can prove fatal. About 9% of fatalities on construction sites are due to electrocution.
- Caught-in or between: Workers killed by crush injuries, such as those sustained when caught or compressed between heavy equipment and objects, or even collapsing structures, account for about 7% of fatalities each year. Most fatal crush injuries can be linked to a lack of proper training that would have otherwise taught the worker what is not a "safe zone" while certain projects are being completed.
What to Do If You Witness OSHA Violations at Work
As it can be seen, inconsistencies in safety standards on construction worksites – and essentially any other place of employment – can put employees in unreasonable and inexcusable danger that could lead to preventable fatalities. With this in mind, safety is everyone's responsibility. If you witness an OSHA violation at work that could have caused a "fatal four" fatality, you must be willing to speak up and notify a supervisor and OSHA to have it corrected before someone gets hurt. Remember that employment law protects you from unjust employer retaliation.
If you are hurt on-the-job due to employer negligence or an honest mistake, or if a loved one passes away from a workplace injury, let Busch Law Offices know. Our workers' compensation attorneys in Loveland and Boulder, Colorado can bring 30+ years of total legal experience to your case, fighting for your right to workers' compensation. As our past clients have said in testimonials, we are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with large corporations and firms that might stand between you and your recovery.
Dial 877.435.1514 to schedule a free initial consultation with our compassionate Colorado workers' comp lawyers today.