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The ‘fatal four’: stopping them could save hundreds of lives

Published on Oct 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm in Workers Compensation.

In the construction industry, there are so many dangers present to anyone on the site. There are precarious positions and heights that must be reached to do work; there are powerful machines constantly churning and smashing; and there are dangerous materials that pose a risk to workers if they are not handled and dealt with in a proper manner.

Sadly, many of these situations give rise to serious or fatal circumstances that change the lives of a construction workers — and their families — forever. However, there are four types of construction accidents that are more dangerous than any other, and they have an ominous name: “the fatal four.”

The “fatal four” are construction accidents relating to falls, “struck by object,” electrocutions, and “caught-in/between.” In 2013, these accidents accounted for 468 deaths in the construction industry, which is more than half of all deaths in the industry. Even if the “fatal four” weren’t completely eliminated, the simple act of improved safety protocols to curb these accidents would save many lives.

The worst part about these accidents is that in many cases, they are entirely preventable. In fact, there are some unfortunate cases where negligence plays a role in the fatal work incident, prompting questions about the construction site.

If negligence plays a part in a workplace accident, then the affected party or parties should consider their legal options. They could hold their employers responsible. But even if negligence is not a part of the accident, the worker is almost certainly entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Source: OSHA, “Commonly Used Statistics,” Accessed Oct. 24, 2014

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