CNC Construction Injuries: OSHA’s “Fatal Four”

Dangerous industries, including construction, account for the majority of workplace injuries every year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of 4,000 worker fatalities in 2012, nearly 800 or approximately 20% of these injuries occurred in the construction industry. The leading causes of worker fatality on construction sites were falls, getting struck by an object, electrocution and the caught-in/between accident. In this post, we will explore the “Fatal Four” construction injuries and identify ways that OSHA is seeking to reduce or eliminate these accidents in the workplace.


Construction sites pose some of the most significant and serious dangers to workers as well as to individuals in the vicinity, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Our Greensboro workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping workers collect full compensation for their accidents and injuries. We are also dedicated to raising workplace safety awareness and in helping to reduce the number of workplace related injuries and deaths in North and South Carolina and nationwide.

There were 4,200 U.S. workers killed on the job in 2011. In its 2012 report, OSHA has also stated that nearly 20% of these deaths stemmed from accidents in the construction industry. As the agency charged with workplace health and safety, OSHA has made significant strides and dramatically reduced the number of injuries and fatalities since its inception. By creating and enforcing safety regulations, OSHA has helped to reduce workplace fatalities by 65% since 1970. The agency has also reduced the number of work-related injuries and illnesses by 67%. While in 1970, there were 38 workers killed every day while on the job. This number has now been reduced to an average of 13 U.S. workers each day.

Here are OSHA’s “Fatal Four” construction injuries occurring in 2011, and the efforts being made by OSHA to reduce or eliminate similar accidents:

Falls: Construction site falls account for 35% of total deaths. To reduce the number of falls, OSHA is creating guidelines and safety regulations. Fall protection, scaffolding, education, and safe ladder use and awareness campaigns are intended to reduce the number of falls.

Electrocutions: Electrocutions on construction sites account for 10% of total deaths. Current regulations do little to protect workers against electrocution. Next year, OSHA standards will impose tougher requirements and amend standards so that power line workers are protected whether building or maintaining transmission or distribution lines.

Struck by object: Workers who were struck by an object account for 10% of all work-related deaths. To reduce the number of injuries, OSHA is seeking to change rules for space confinement, increase use of protective gear, and improve injury and reporting requirements.

Caught-in/between injuries: Caught in-between accidents and fatalities account for 2% of total work site deaths in the United States. Again, regulation and monitoring of equipment and surfaces is critical to ensuring worker safety.

According to OSHA reports, the “Fatal Four” were responsible for 3 out of 5 construction fatalities in 2012. This is nearly 60% of construction worker deaths. By eliminating or reducing accidents caused by the “Fatal Four” OSHA enforcement and efforts in the private industry could save more than 400 American workers’ lives every year.

If you or someone you love was injured in a workplace accident, contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Posts:

Fatal Transportation injuries are Primary Cause of Workplace Fatalities
, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Blog, October 1, 2013.

Why NC Workers Fail to Report Workplace Hazards
, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Blog, October 29, 2013.

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