Workers in the construction industry face many dangers while on the job. Because of this, many individuals are injured or killed at work.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four main causes for construction industry worker death: falls, stuck by an object, electrocution and compression/crush injuries. The administration calls this the “fatal four.”
OSHA reports that construction worker falls account for the most amount of deaths by a long shot, at over 38 percent. Ladders, scaffolds and roofs pose a great threat to workers, as one who falls six feet or more may face serious injury or death.
The best way to avoid injury and death from a fall is to not fall. It is beneficial for workers to wear/use provided safety gear and use proper safety techniques while on a ladder or scaffold.
Struck by an object
When working at a construction site, workers are constantly avoiding objects that fly, fall, swing and roll. In the unfortunate event that someone is in the way of an object, they could face serious injury or death. OSHA reports that workers struck by machinery or objects makes up over 9 percent of construction worker deaths, the second highest.
Workers may avoid flying objects by staying aware of their surroundings as well as other workers in the vicinity and wearing protective gear.
Electrocution, the third most common safety hazard for construction workers, is more prevalent than some may realize. OSHA states that electrocution makes up just over 8 percent of construction worker deaths, following closely behind a struck by an object injury.
Knowing where live wires are at the construction site as well as staying far away from them can help workers avoid electrocution.
Finally, compression and crush deaths complete the fatal four. OSHA finds this type of death to make up over 7 percent of fatalities in the industry. When a worker finds themselves caught between two pieces of machinery, or under a heavy object, they can face severe injury and death.
Keeping an eye on where you are at the construction site as well as staying aware of potential objects that could crush or compress an individual my help avoid tragedy.