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Detailing “the Fatal Four”

On Behalf of | May 30, 2020 | Construction Injuries

Practitioners in the construction industry in New York City were no doubt initially drawn to the profession by the unique working environment. Oddly enough, it is that same environment that contributes to construction work being among the most dangerous professions. Indeed, according to information shared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, specific roles within the construction industry occupied two of the top three spots detailing the most workplace accident cases reported in 2018. 

Yet one might wonder why this profession continues to produce so many injury cases given the causes of these cases are relatively well-known. Some are so actually so common that they routinely cause a majority of construction-related fatalities. 

The Fatal Four 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration refers to these common causes as “the Fatal Four.” They are (in order of reported frequency): 

  • Falls 
  • Falling objects 
  • Electrocutions 
  • Crush injuries 

Crush injuries in the construction industry typically occur when a worker’s clothing or other loose-fitting personal items become caught in equipment, or when they become caught between equipment or materials and work surfaces. 

Preventing common construction accidents 

The job of preventing construction workers from the dangers their profession poses falls to the companies and contractors that employ them. Most may assume that given the amount of information detailing the common causes their employees face, they would be well-prepared to handle such a task. Yet alarmingly, violations related to the Fatal Four often rank among the most common citations issued by federal regulators. 

Some might see this fact as evidence of an indifference towards safety concerns; others might view it as general negligence. Regardless of the reasons why so many employers in the construction industry seem ill-prepared to protect their employees from the Fatal Four, any failure in doing so might rightfully open them up to liability claims.