What are the Fatal Four?

While statistics show that work in the construction industry consistently ranks among the most dangerous professions, and a practitioner of it you may not recognize the dangers. Yes, there are inherent risks with such work, yet your skills and experience can often help to mitigate them. Your employer in San Antonio is also tasked with ensuring that you and your co-workers are protected from any on-the-job dangers. Given that a majority of construction accidents are contributed to only a handful of causes, a failure by your company to protect you from them can certainly be seen as negligence. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has compiled construction accident data to identify what causes a majority of these incidents. Four different factors stood out from among the rest. Known as "The Fatal Four," these include: 

  • Falls
  • Being struck by falling objects
  • Electrocutions
  • Being caught in machinery or in-between equipment and materials 

As recently as 2017, these four factors caused almost 60 percent of all construction-related fatalities in the U.S. 

Falls in particular were the most common cause of construction fatalities, causing over 39 percent of cases on their own. What is alarming about this fact is that issues that contribute to falls ranked among the most cited by OSHA in 2018. Fall protection and problems related to scaffolding and ladders were the most common culprits. You might argue that this demonstrates a lack of concern on the part of construction companies if, knowing that falls are so prevalent, still continue to offer adequate protection from them. Such inaction might easily be interpreted as negligence, whose presence in your case might justify you taking legal action. 


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