Construction is one of the most dangerous industries. Four of the leading causes of construction fatalities are falls, struck by objects, electrocutions, and caught-in/between objects, which the OSHA has dubbed the fatal four. Understanding these common causes helps employers implement preventative safety measures to ensure a safer workplace. This article examines relevant statistics from this data set: Construction Accident Statistics.  

Fall From Heights – 850 Deaths

Falls are the leading cause of construction-related deaths. They account for approximately one-third of all construction fatalities. Six of the most frequently cited violations deal with protecting workers from fall hazards, so it’s no surprise that falls are the leading cause of construction deaths. One of the primary reasons for fall-related deaths is the lack of proper fall protection systems. Utilizing guard rails, fall arrest systems, and safety nets help ensure worker safety.

Struck By Objects – 473 Deaths 

A wide array of hazards can cause struck by injuries and fatalities. Everything from tools falling, accidental nail gun discharges, and being hit by vehicles or construction equipment can cause injuries. The four most common struck-by hazards were flying, falling, swinging, and rolling objects. The two most cited violations were the standards for head, eye, and face protection. Issuing the proper PPE can go a long way in protecting employees from stuck by injuries. 

Electrocutions – 152 Deaths 

Electrocution deaths are caused by exposure to lethal amounts of electrical energy. Common causes include contact with live overhead power lines, improper extension cord use, and contact with energized sources. The easiest way to prevent electrocutions is by de-energizing and maintaining a safe distance from power lines. 

Caught In or Between Objects – 143 Deaths

Caught-in/between accidents happen when someone is caught, crushed, compressed, or pinched between two or more objects. Struck deaths are similar to deaths caused by getting caught between or in objects. Common types of caught in/between are getting caught between moving parts of machinery and power tools. The most likely cause of these accidents is safety guards that are missing or intentionally removed. 

Preventive Safety Measures

Preventive measures and safety protocols help mitigate the risk of construction deaths. Regular equipment, tools, and safety gear inspections help identify potential issues before an accident happens. Proper maintenance ensures that everything is in good working condition. Ongoing safety training educates workers about potential hazards and best practices. 

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries, but the majority of accidents are preventable with proper planning and safety procedures. Ongoing training, proper safety equipment, and identifying/eliminating hazards are the keys to preventing serious accidents and fatalities. Implementing these practices can greatly reduce the risk of construction accident deaths and injuries.