The construction industry is one of the most dangerous in Nebraska and throughout the U.S. According to the United States Department of Labor, approximately one in five workplace fatalities occurs in construction.
Not only is the employer responsible for providing a safe and secure work site for all employees, but they must provide critical training to workers as well. Workers should know how to spot worksite dangers, how to handle hazards that arise and how to keep safe while on the job.
The fatal four
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration refers to the most common causes of construction deaths as ‘The Fatal Four.’ These potentially catastrophic hazards include the following:
- Getting struck by moving or falling objects
- Getting caught in or between two objects, including machinery or trenches
- Getting electrocuted
The leading cause of industry deaths are falls, involving one in three construction fatalities. Workers may fall from heights, such as scaffolding or an unfinished building, fall into an unprotected opening or trip and fall on debris. Getting struck by a falling object or electrocuted are the second and third causes of death while getting caught between objects is the fourth.
As a construction worker or employer, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and others on the job site. First, all workers should wear personal safety equipment, including head protection, high-visibility clothing and fall equipment. In addition, you should remain aware of where you are in position with heavy machines and equipment, and avoid standing in-between moving and fixed objects. Make sure workers use proper techniques when excavating trenches, and never get into an unprotected trench. Finally, avoid electrocutions by checking utilities and keeping a safe distance from power lines.