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OSHA's Fatal Four: Deadly Construction Accidents

Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs

While there is potential for serious injuries to occur in many different industries, one of the most dangerous is the construction industry. Due to ongoing projects and an increase in new construction, construction sites are arising all over the nation and more workers are entering the industry. Unfortunately, this translates to more risk and more potential accidents. All it takes is a glance at some statistics to understand that employees in the construction industry face real hazards - and many of them.

Fatal Construction Accident Statistics

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency tasked with assuring safe and healthful working conditions for millions of American workers. In an effort to improve workplace safety, OSHA continually collects data concerning on-the-job accidents, injuries, and deaths. At a glance, it’s clear construction is one of the most dangerous sectors around:

  • Approximately 20% of the approximate 3,929 private industry worker deaths involved workers in construction.
  • 1 in 5 workers deaths death occurred in the construction industry.

Because these statistics are consistently high and alarming, OSHA takes a closer look at construction industry deaths and their causes. Throughout the years, they’ve found that a certain few types of accidents cause a large percentage of worker fatalities. In 2013, for example, OSHA noted that the four most common causes of construction worker fatalities - or the “Fatal Four” - accounted for over half of all construction deaths in 2013.

OSHA’s “Fatal Four” include the top causes of worker fatalities in the construction industry:

  • Falls - Construction workers often work high off the ground, which inherently presents a serious fall hazard. This is especially the case when the worker is not provided the proper safety equipment to work safely high off the ground, such as harnesses and sturdy railings. Fall accidents typically involve cranes, elevated construction sites, ladders, and scaffolding.
  • Struck by object - Construction sites often have large scaffolds with workers using various tools and machinery high above the ground. Maintaining balance is challenging enough in this situation, but adding tools and machinery to the mix makes the work even more hazardous. These fatalities are typically caused by tools falling from heights by workers carrying items and not paying adequate attention.
  • Electrocutions - Construction sites are filled with open wiring and unfinished electrical components that pose a hazard to all workers. When the electricity is not controlled carefully or the wiring is done incorrectly, the risk of electrocution dramatically increases. As a result, electrocutions are common, accounting for about 9% of construction worker deaths in 2013.
  • Caught-in / between - There are many moving parts on a construction site, including heavy equipment, vehicles, machinery, and more. Caught-in or between accidents can kill construction workers in a number of ways. Typically, these accidents involve cranes and other heavy construction equipment or machinery.

Houston Construction Accident Attorney

At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, our Houston construction accident lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and experience to represent individuals who have been harmed on a construction site. We also represent families who have lost loved ones as a result of fatal construction accidents. It is important to have someone on your side who is determined to help you and knows how to handle these types of cases. We encourage you to learn more about your legal options and how our firm can put together a strategy based on your specific needs.

Contact our firm today and speak with us about your potential lawsuit.

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