Construction is a personally dangerous career that also happens to be quite rewarding. Between the benefits and competitive pay, many hardworking adults find gainful employment in the construction industry.
However, while construction work is often profitable, it is also a career path fraught with risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) carefully tracks the details of reported workplace fatalities in construction and other industries. Their data helps shine a light on the risks that those who work in building construction face every day on the job.
OSHA has identified four primary construction risks
Years of data gathering and analysis have made it quite clear what the biggest risks are for construction employees. Long called the Fatal Four, these top construction workplace risks are still a major training and safety focus for OSHA and employers alike. Now called the Focus Four, these risk factors are the biggest contributors to fatalities in construction.
The top source of fatalities in the construction industry is falls, which will surprise no one. Better training and safety equipment could likely reduce these incidents. The second leading cause is struck-by incidents, which involve falling equipment or machinery or someone who doesn’t notice another worker win backing up a piece of equipment or transporting supplies.
The third major construction risk is electrocution. Electrocution is a concern not just for those actively installing wires in a new building but also those who come into contact with the power supply at a construction site. Finally, the last of the top four risks in construction are caught-between incidents. These can involve either people getting struck by machinery and pinned against a wall or those hurt in cave-ins that occur during excavation.
Employers should take the necessary steps to protect their staff
With the biggest risks in construction well-established at this point, companies have few excuses for failing to protect their workers. Providing adequate safety equipment and training is important to the well-being of construction workers.
Still, even when you and your employer follow all the suggested safety rules, people can still get hurt or even die on the job. Knowing the biggest risks and about your right to workers’ compensation benefits can help both those who work in construction and their dependent family members.