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Construction’s “Fatal Four” cause majority of worker deaths

When you kick up your feet after a long day working on an Oregon construction site, chances are, you feel aches, pains and other work-related injuries or ailments. The construction industry is an undeniably dangerous one to work in, and if you are able to end your career experiencing only minor aches, pains or injuries, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the construction industry is one of the nation’s most dangerous, with more than 20% of all private sector deaths that occurred in 2017 coming from the construction industry. While construction work is inherently dangerous, there are certain areas within it where your risk of injury or fatality is more pronounced, and learning where these dangers are may help you mitigate them, at least, on some level.

Recognizing construction’s “Fatal Four”

These days, the majority of construction worker fatalities occur because of the same four circumstances, which are now known as construction’s “Fatal Four.” The Fatal Four are so deadly, in fact, that just under 60% of all construction worker fatalities arise because of these four circumstances. So, what are the four biggest threats facing today’s construction workers?

Coming in in the top spot are falls, which are currently the most significant danger to construction workers, claiming more than 380 construction worker lives in 2017 alone. While falls were responsible for nearly 40% of 2017’s construction worker deaths, objects striking construction workers, be they tools, shingles or what have you, caused another 8.2% of industry fatalities in 2017. Electrocutions claimed the third spot on construction’s Fatal Four list, accounting for 7.3% of 2017’s construction worker deaths. Workers who found themselves caught or stuck between objects, machinery and so on caused another 5.1% of industry deaths that year.

Safety advocates believe that finding ways to mitigate the risks associated with construction’s Fatal Four would save numerous construction worker lives every year.

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