Construction workers should be able to go to work at the start of a shift and not worry about whether they are going to make it home at the end of the shift or not. Their employers should ensure that they have a safe environment to get the job done. When this doesn't happen, workers are the ones who might suffer physical injuries.
Some accidents in the construction industry are more common than others. There are four types that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have dubbed the "Fatal Four" because they account for such a large portion of the accidents that can occur in this industry.
Overview of the Fatal Four
The top hazard for construction workers is falling. Around 36.9 percent of construction accidents fall into this category. Second on the list is falling or flying objects, which account for 10.3 percent of incidents. Third is electrocutions, which make up 8.9 percent. Rounding out the Fatal Four is being caught in or between objects, which comprises 2.6 percent. Preventing these incidents is as simple as following OSHA guidelines and providing workers with the safety gear and procedures that can reduce the risk of accidents.
Fatalities are too common
When you look at the workforce in this country, the construction industry has the highest rate of deaths due to accidents at work. The industry accounts for a whopping one out of every five work-related deaths. This is an disparity that must be controlled by providing workers with the safety gear that they need.
Workers' job titles matter
The most unsafe job in the industry is construction laborer, a position that accounts for 26 percent of all fatal injuries. First-line supervisors come in second with 13 percent with roofers landing in third position with 11 percent. Electricians and carpenters each account for 7 percent of these accidents.
Other risks besides death
Even if a worker doesn't die, he or she can still suffer from life-changing injuries. These include amputations, brain or spinal cord injuries, disfigurement, deafness and blindness. In all of these cases, the worker might not be able to return to work after the incident, which can place a financial burden on him or her, as well as the family members who are also impacted by the injury. When recovery is possible, the worker might still have to miss work.