What are “the Fatal Four?”

What are “the Fatal Four?”

As a worker in the construction industry in Nebraska, you can attest to the appeal such a career has to potential practitioners. The chance to ply your trade in an unconventional work setting is no doubt one of the most enticing elements. Yet that same unconventional working environment also makes the construction industry consistently rank among the most dangerous.

The responsibility to protect you and your coworkers from potential workplace hazards falls to your employer. Some might argue that there is no way for companies to prepare for unforeseen accidents. Yet statistics suggest that in the construction industry, a commonality of the causes of workplace accidents (and fatalities) should provide the insight needed to secure additional protective measures.

“The Fatal Four”

Indeed, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the four most common causes of reported construction fatalities are:

  • Falls
  • Falling objects
  • Electrocutions
  • Crush accidents

In this particular context, a “crush accident” refers to accidents where workers become caught in or in-between heavy equipment or work surfaces.

Indifference on the part of employers?

Statistics show that the aforementioned causes (dubbed “The Fatal Four” by industry insiders) account for more than half of all construction-related fatalities. You might read this and assume that this information provides your employer with all it needs to anticipate the hazards you and your coworkers face and take steps to prepare for them. Such steps include utilizing fall arrest equipment, installing ground-fault circuit interrupters to control electrical flow, or better manage excavations. Yet information shared by OSHA shows that safety violations related to the Fatal Four rank among the most common cited by regulators. This fact may signal a potential indifference to your and your coworkers’ safety on the part of your employer. Such perceived indifference may provide the basis for a liability claim.