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What are the fatal four?

The construction industry is dangerous by nature. You work with heavy equipment and in situations that could be dangerous every day. While you cannot ensure you will ever be 100 percent safe on the job, there are many ways to protect yourself and prevent injuries. Because of the risks in the construction industry, OSHA has come up with four of the most serious hazards you may face on the job. These are the fatal four.

The fatal four refers to the four types of incidents that cause the most fatalities in the construction industry. These are falls, struck by object, electrocutions and caught in or between. Falls are the most common hazard. They make up about 39 percent of all fatalities in the construction industry. Together, the fatal four make up 60 percent of all fatal injuries in this industry.

After falls, struck by object is the next common, making up about eight percent of fatalities. Then comes electrocutions at about seven percent. Finally, caught in or between makes up about five percent of fatal injuries.

Understanding the risks on a construction site can keep you safer. OSHA takes a very proactive approach toward creating information and guidelines to protect you from the fatal four. Your employer should provide you with this information and take all the steps necessary to minimize the risks.

Accidents will always happen, but the statistics do not have to be so high. It is possible for the fatal four to not be so fatal if everyone takes the right precautions. This information is for education. It is not legal advice.

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