While you could theoretically be killed on a construction site by a host of things, the chances are that it would be down to one of four reasons. Understanding these four principal dangers allows you to take extra care to avoid them.
What are the Fatal 4?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks workplace accidents every year. In 2018 there were 1,008 people killed on construction sites. These are the top four reasons and how many deaths each accounted for:
- 338 Falls
- 112 Struck by an object
- 86 Electrocutions
- 55 Caught in/between
Employers have a duty to provide you with a safe workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publishes a set of standards that employers must abide by to reduce the risk of workplace accidents. They set procedures to be followed and training and safety equipment that employers must provide. Yet many accidents to workers occur due to violations of these standards.
Each year OSHA publishes the top 10 most frequent violations. Unsurprisingly, there is a correlation between these and the top four causes of death. For example, falls are the leading cause of fatalities on construction sites. The most frequent violation is of fall protection regulations.
What can you do if you suffer a workplace accident?
For every fatal accident, there are many more where workers survive but suffer severe injury. Your employer should have workers’ compensation insurance. You do not need to prove anyone was at fault to claim this. You should, however, seek legal help to ensure you receive adequate compensation. Insurers may try to offer a lower amount. If you have no idea what others receive, you may not realize you are entitled to more.