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OSHA’s Fatal Four Construction Accidents


Construction sites are inherently risky places to work, and every year this industry is one of the leaders in terms of on-the-job injuries and fatalities. With so much large equipment, heavy machinery, and hefty materials being utilized in such a small area, it’s easy to see how something small could result in such catastrophic consequences. Because of this, OSHA has dubbed the four leading causes of on-the-job deaths in the construction injuries as the “Fatal Four,” which were combined responsible for more than 64 percent of all construction deaths in the year 2015.

Preparing for these risks and knowing what steps to take in order to avoid them is important if you want to increase on-the-job safety. On this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the “fatal four” and some of the things you can do to lower the chances of a serious accident.


Falling was by far the leading cause of construction deaths in the year 2015, with more than 100,000 fatalities occurring from these types of injuries. Construction often involves workers going up to heights as they erect buildings or other structures, and as such workers need to be equipped with the proper safety gear. However, surveys have shown that proper fall protection is not always used, either because it’s not provided by employers or employees simply choose not to utilize it. Employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees are both trained and capable of using this equipment, so here are a few things that could be done:

  • Install guard rails and to boards around open-sided platforms, floors, and runways
  • Include safety harnesses, nets, stair railings, and handrails where necessary on the job site
  • Train all workers in how to properly utilize protective equipment and select equipment which is adequate for the job at hand.


Construction sites feature a lot of movement as projects are completed, and that means a lot of different potentially heavy objects could wind up striking a worker. Loads of materials could come loose and fly through the air, tools or debris could come loose during tasks, swinging or swaying loads could strike a worker, or rolling heavy equipment like trucks, bulldozers, or diggers could strike a worker. In most of these cases, workers don’t have enough time to react and move out of the way.

  • Wear safety goggles, face shields, and hard hats when working around equipment, tools, or materials that could come loose or be launched while working.
  • Avoid working in areas where work is also being conducted directly above or below.
  • Never position yourself under a suspended load and make sure all heavy machinery operators are aware of your presence while they are working.


Construction jobs often require extremely high voltages to operate much of the equipment that’s necessary to complete the task. However, because these electrical installations are temporary, they’re not always the most secure, and as such more than 300 people died of this hazard in 2015. More than 4,000 are injured in this way each year. In general, the best thing to do is ensure all employees are trained in how to handle electricity, including what personal protective equipment to use, and always make sure this equipment is utilized at all time to protect against the possibility of electric shock.


This type of accident is fairly broad, including incidents where a worker has a body part caught, crushed, or squeezed between two or more objects. This can include collapsing materials, equipment rollovers, or even unguarded heavy machinery pulling a body part into it. The leading causes of these accidents is a lack of focus and a lack of training. Train workers on how to properly use equipment and ensure they are paying attention whenever doing so. Have workers who are not trained on particular pieces of equipment stay away as much as possible to avoid a mistake that could put them in danger.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident, reach out to a Nassau County construction accident attorney from the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli as soon as possible. Contact us today by dialing (516) 628-6402 or fill out our form online and a member of our team will respond as soon as possible!

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