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Discover the OSHA Fatal Four…

With rising growth in construction, the industry contains a very high risk of fatal injuries leading to deaths.

Deaths in the construction industry in 2019 were 1,061. Around 20% of all occupational deaths in the U.S.A. are related to the construction industry. The construction industry requires special attention to workplace safety and health protocols. All companies must be in compliance with OSHA guidelines at all times to avoid fatal injuries and violation penalties.

With the 80/20 rule, there are four construction-related hazards that result in around 60% of construction-related deaths. In this article, we will focus on eliminating 60% of fatal injuries by emphasizing the fatal four causes of death in the construction industry. A total number of 637 deaths are caused by the Fatal Four type of accidents in the construction industry.

OSHA's Fatal Four...

(1) Fall Accidents

Fall is the most leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in every industry.

Employees falling accounted for almost 36.5 percent of all occupational fatalities. Workers that have fallen due to exposed edges or cracks, poorly built walking or working platforms, workers who have dropped off ladders, floors, scaffolding, massive skyscraper building areas, and so on, all due to a failure to use adequate fall safety, are among those who have been injured. Guardrails, safety nets, harnesses, and other fall protective devices, as well as proper safety preparation, are examples of fall protection equipment.

(2) Stuck-by Hazards

8.4 % of construction personnel who died in a recent year were injured as they were hit by another object.

These deadly incidents included items as small as a power tool rolling off scaffolding and as big as excavators, bulldozers, or other heavy machinery. Severe injuries can occur when a worker is hit by an object. Even if they are wearing hardhats or other protective gear at the time of the crash, workers who are struck by objects falling from a height can sustain a fatal head injury or spinal cord injuries. A worker who is hit by a heavy object of materials or a component of heavy machinery can sustain fatal wounds, crush injuries, or other severe internal organ injuries, in addition to the skull or spinal injuries.

(3) Electrical Hazards

Electrocutions contributed to 8.5 percent of all building site fatalities.

Since construction requires electrical machinery and ongoing or in-progress electrical work, the chance of electrocution on a construction site is significantly greater than it is elsewhere. OSHA allows building sites to use such precautions, protective devices, signs, and protocols due to the possibility of electrocution. This involves using "Lockout and Tagout" techniques to switch off electrical devices when doing work. Severe injury or death will occur if these precautions are not performed, or if proper protection equipment or signs are not used or abided by.

Electrical injuries and accidents are one of the most costly and complex to treat. They risk permanently destroying the body’s internal electronic pulses, which are used for critical tasks such as heart rhythm maintenance and causing serious injuries to other major organs. They also placed the patient at risk of lethal infection because of skin disruptions, skin graft loss, and procedural modifications.

(4) Caught In-Between Hazards

Laborers who were stuck in or between two things on the job site accounted for 1.4 percent of all deaths in the construction industry.

This event varied from trench collapses that buried employees to employees being stuck between two moving mechanical devices. Caught-in or caught between collisions are frequently avoidable by taking extra precautions to ensure the tunnel walls are secured and construction sites are free of all people when moving heavy machinery. When these events happen, the traumatic injury can vary from the brain and spinal cord trauma to asphyxiation, amputation, or bone fractures.

Employers should train their employees on being more vigilant during performing construction-related tasks.

Construction companies should provide all related compliance training to their work in order to avoid fatal injuries and deaths. Just by focusing on the above four areas, companies can perform tasks with a lot better safety protocols and save their employees from accidents.

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