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What are construction's fatal 4? Know the risks.

You may have heard people talk about the construction industry and the infamous "fatal four." These are the four ways that workers are most often injured and killed on the job. They've earned their reputation over the years due to consistent involvement, despite changes to safety regulations and much more. They continue to be a problem year after year.

So, what are the fatal four? What do you need to watch out for the most on the job? They are as follows, starting with the least common and working up:

  1. Caught in between. This is a bit of a broad category, but it includes instances when workers are crushed between objects, caught in machines and things of this nature. It accounts for 7.2 percent of fatal accidents, per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  2. Electrocutions. Using the statistics from 2015, OSHA said that these accounted for 8.6 percent of deadly accidents.
  3. Struck-by accidents. These include incidents where tools and materials are dropped from a height onto workers below, for instance. They account for 9.6 percent of deadly accidents.
  4. Falls. By far, falls are the most common. They accounted for 364 of the 937 deadly accidents that happened in 2015, per OSHA, which put them at 38.8 percent. This statistic remains high every year, despite the use of fall protection gear. Even a relatively short fall can result in serious injury and death.

It's very important for workers and their families to know about the fatal four and their legal rights to workers' compensation for injuries. After all, these same accidents result in many serious injuries, even when workers are fortunate enough to survive.

Source: OSHA, "Commonly Used Statistics," accessed Oct. 25, 2017

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