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Construction Safety: Avoiding OSHA’s Fatal Four

Construction SafetyIn 2016, 5,190 workers died while on the job. This statistic represents more than 5,000 individuals who went to work and were unable to come home. Moreover, the number equates to little more than 99 workers on average, per week, and 14 each day. Twenty-one percent of these deaths occurred in the construction industry.

While every job has a unique set of hazards, construction carries a higher amount of risks, therefore making construction workers more prone to severe injuries, or even fatalities. One-in-five worker deaths in 2016 were construction-related.

OSHA’s Fatal Four

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a small agency within the United States Department of Labor responsible for the health and safety of nearly 130 million American workers. As there is only one OSHA worker per every 59,000 employees, and it is impossible to oversee each operation on a daily basis, the agency creates a set of guidelines for each sector. These guidelines are a set of specially designed safety protocols to keep injuries and fatalities to a minimum. OSHA depends on employers to follow these guidelines to protect their employees. Otherwise, their businesses face citations and other penalties.

OSHA also maintains detailed records of injuries and fatalities to better pinpoint the causes of these injuries and to help prevent them in the future. Four leading causes consistently rank at the top of the list for construction fatalities, dubbing them as “the fatal four.” These causes and their percentage of the overall construction fatalities are:

  • Falls (38.7 percent);
  • Being struck by an object (9.4 percent);
  • Electrocutions (8.3 percent); and
  • Caught in-between accidents (7.3 percent).
Tips to Avoid Injuries

Although accidents happen and there is little anyone can do to prevent the negligence of someone else, there are precautions that each employee can take to avoid injury to himself or herself and to others. Precautions include:

  • Wearing personal protective equipment at all times;
  • Ensuring ample lighting;
  • Avoiding areas where work is being performed above;
  • Never standing under a suspended load;
  • Cleaning up spills or wet floors;
  • Verifying a heavy equipment operator sees you;
  • Reducing clutter; and
  • Using the right equipment for the job.
Ask a skilled San Jose Personal Injury Lawyer

When working in an area with raw materials and heavy machinery, it is essential to reduce human errors such as distractions and shortcuts. For instance, one moment on a cell phone is enough time to cost someone his or her life. If your suffered severe injuries while at work, a Santa Clara County, CA construction injury lawyer can help. At Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., we understand the devastating effects the loss of a loved one has on a family, not just emotionally but also financially. Let us help you determine the cause of the incident and hold the responsible parties accountable for any negligent behavior. Call us today at (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free consultation to discuss your case and your options.

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