The construction sector is a demanding industry rife with potential hazards. Given its inherent risks, fatal accidents remain a pressing concern despite significant technological advancements and the introduction of more stringent safety regulations.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized this and categorized the four leading causes of fatalities in the sector as the “Fatal Four.” These include falls, being struck by an object, electrocution and caught-in/between incidents.
Understanding these four significant risks can help companies take a more proactive approach to safety, potentially mitigating these hazards and protecting their workforce. By delving into the specifics of each risk factor, construction firms can devise better strategies to enhance their safety standards and create a safer working environment.
Understanding falls: the leading cause
Falls from heights, including roofs, ladders and scaffolding, are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. This is often due to a need for appropriate safety measures or their disregard. Implementing safety training and better ensuring the use of safety equipment such as harnesses can significantly curtail these incidents.
Struck by object: a common occurrence
Being struck by an object ranks second among the causes of fatal accidents on construction sites. This can occur when workers are hit by machinery, tools or materials, especially in motion or falling. Designating and controlling areas where heavy equipment is used can help prevent such incidents.
The perils of electrocution
Electrocution is another severe hazard in construction, often resulting from contact with power lines, equipment misuse and incorrect installations. Regular equipment inspections, proper securing of electrical installations and comprehensive training in electrical safety are all critical measures to prevent such occurrences.
Caught-in/between: unseen dangers
The caught-in/between incidents category covers situations where a worker is crushed, caught, or compressed between two or more objects. Proper implementation of lockout/tagout procedures, employee training on equipment handling, and maintaining safe distances from operational machinery can all contribute to reducing these incidents.
While eliminating all risks in the construction sector is unrealistic, a proactive and comprehensive approach to safety can make a significant difference. Construction workers who suffer injuries and the loved ones of those who are fatally injured may benefit from seeking legal guidance and compensation as a result of their losses.